Qatar to invest $5 billion in Egypt, eyes offshore gas

Qatar to invest $5 billion in Egypt, eyes offshore gas
FILE

Agency Report

Qatar is to invest $5 billion in Egypt, the government in Cairo announced Tuesday, in another sign of a growing rapprochement following last year's restoration of ties.

The announcement came after talks between President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and visiting Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who also met Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.

A government statement said Qatar was to plough $5 in "investments and partnerships" in Egypt, without giving specifics.

However, QatarEnergy released a statement announcing an agreement with ExxonMobil to acquire a 40-percent interest in a gas exploration block off Egypt in the Mediterranean.

The two countries restored diplomatic relations in 2021, after Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar in 2017 over its alleged support for radical Islamist groups and being too close to Iran, charges denied by Doha.

Egypt's own relations with Qatar had been strained ever since the 2013 military ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by Doha.

In January 2021, Saudi Arabia signalled an end to the diplomatic rift, and the four boycotting countries agreed to lift a blockade.

The rapprochement has since been oriented towards investment. A Qatari delegation visited Cairo last year for the inauguration of a Qatar-owned hotel estimated to be worth $1 billion.

AFP

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