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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 August 2018

Egypt pledges to mend ties as El Sisi meets Qatar envoy

Cairo and Doha seek to put past differences aside following Riyadh-brokered reconciliation of regional rift over support for Islamists.

CAIRO // Egypt said it aimed to end differences with Qatar as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met an envoy of the Qatari emir on Saturday.

“Egypt looks forward to a new era that ends past disagreements,” the president’s office said after he met Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdel Rahman Al Thani, a special envoy of Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Ties between Cairo and Doha deteriorated after Mr El Sisi, as army chief, led the military’s removal from the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood movement was backed by Qatar.

Since Mr Morsi’s ouster in July last year, Egyptian authorties have launched a crackdown against the Islamist group.

Qatar repeatedly denounced Mr Morsi’s removal from office, and it still provides shelter for some Brotherhood leaders who fled Egypt.

The crackdown on the Brotherhood led to a months-long diplomatic spat pitting Qatar against Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, which all supported the ouster of Mr Morsi.

But at a reconciliation summit in November hosted by Riyadh, Qatar joined its Gulf neighbours in supporting Egypt under Mr El Sisi.

The Riyadh summit came amid security fears over the rise of the extremist group ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have all joined US-led air strikes against ISIL in Syria.

Mr El Sisi’s meeting with the Qatari envoy was his first with a Doha representative since becoming president in June.

The Qatari envoy was accompanied by a special representative of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

* Agence France-Presse

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