Top diplomats from Egypt, Qatar discuss ties in Cairo

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s foreign minister held talks with his Qatari counterpart Monday that focused on improved ties between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry met with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Cairo.

It was the second visit for Qatar’s chief diplomat since Egypt and three Gulf nations ended their dispute with the energy-rich country last year.

Al Thani told a joint news conference that Qatar’s ties with Egypt were improving “after we overcame the previous period, which was marred by some tensions.”

Shukry said they have “great ambitions” to further improve ties on all levels and announced a joint committee co-chaired by the two ministers with the aim of achieving that goal.

A declaration in January 2021 ended a diplomatic crisis that began in 2017 with a rift between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on one side and Qatar on the other.

The four countries had jointly boycotted Qatar and hoped an embargo and media blitz would pressure it to end its close relations with Turkey and Iran.

Since the dispute ended, ties between the five countries have improved and top officials exchange visits. Al Thani visited Cairo in May and met with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

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