By Marina Makary
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has accepted an invitation to attend the Economic Summit due to take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in March, Reuters reported.
In response to the question whether President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Al-Thani would meet in Abu Dhabi, the Egyptian president said in an interview with Sky News Arabic: “We will wait and see, but there is no meeting decision with Sheikh Tamimbin Hamad, Emir of the State of Qatar.”
Adel Al-Adawi, a former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister, told Daily News Egypt that he welcomed a possible reconciliation with Qatar. “Egypt has its arms wide open to everyone, unless they interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs,” he said.”We have no enmity towards anyone, but we also do not want anyone to be hostile against us.”
On the other hand, Samir Ghattas, head of the Middle East Forum for Strategic Studies, said the mending of Egyptian-Qatari relations is already in an advanced stage, and emphasised that the process is “not limited to official visits”.
“Both sides have taken mutual measures, and we hope the pledges taken by Qatar meet reality,” said Ahmed Bahei, a political analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies. Bahei stressed the importance of separating the political conflicts between the two states and the relationship between the two peoples. “Our Qatari brothers are keen on investing [in Egypt], so there should not be any kind of discrimination,” he said.
Saudi Arabia has played the role of mediator between Egypt and Qatar in recent months. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud praised Egypt for its willingness to reconcile with Qatar in November. Al-Sisi made a quick stop in Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet King Abdullah, who was recently hospitalised for health reasons.