Egypt President El Sisi and Qatar's Sheikh Tamim in rare face-to-face at Cop26

Leaders' meeting on sidelines of Glasgow summit is only the second in nearly 10 years

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has met the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, on the sidelines of Cop26 in Glasgow.

The two leaders met in August on the sidelines of a summit in Baghdad on Iraq – the first between them in nearly a decade and which was labelled at the time as a significant step in normalising relations between the two Arab nations after years of tension.

No details were revealed on what President El Sisi and Sheikh Tamim discussed in Glasgow. The Egyptian presidency reported the meeting taking place and issued two photos showing them smiling and shaking hands.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar in June 2017. In January, the five nations signed AlUla Declaration to end the diplomatic and travel boycott of Qatar and to mend relations. They have since reopened their air space and borders.

In June, Mr El Sisi appointed an ambassador to Qatar. Last year, the Egyptian leader met in Cairo with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, who is also deputy prime minister.

Relations between Cairo and Doha were tense even before 2017. In 2013, Mr El Sisi, as defence minister, led the military’s removal from power of Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist president backed by Qatar. His removal led to years of animosity between Egypt and Qatar.

Qatari commercial interests in Egypt, a mix of state and private investments mainly in hotels, banking and property, were largely unaffected by the tensions.

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 11:34 AM
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