9 January 2013

Egypt: Morsi Receives Qatari PM

President Mohamed Morsi received on Tuesday 8/1/2013 Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Gabr al-Thani. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.

Sheikh Hamad had arrived in Cairo on Monday 7/1/2013 for talks with Premier Qandil on means of boosting relations in the various domains and expanding economic, commercial and investment relations between Egypt and Qatar.

At a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis with Qandil after his meeting with the President, Sheikh Hamad said in statements that Qatar would double the package of Qatari aid to Egypt from $2.5 billion to $5 billion. He said this aid has already arrived in Egypt. He said there are Qatari investments in Egypt worth $18 billion of which $10 billion are invested in East Port Said project and $8 billion which are invested in a Mediterranean resort.

Sheikh Hamad said the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is keen to support Egypt out of his strong belief in the importance of the active role played by Egypt in the Arab region.

He said the political leadership in both countries is keen to complete investment projects in Egypt, referring to a forthcoming visit by a technical delegation to activate work in the projects of East Port Said and the resort on the Mediterranean.

He said an international legal office would be hired to determine legal dealings between the two countries.

Answering a question which is raised by media that Qatar is seeking to hire the Suez Canal and its endeavors to clamp its hegemony on Egypt through Qatari aid and investments, Sheikh Hamad said this is nonsense and completely groundless. He said talking about Qatari hegemony on Egypt is meant for local consumption adding Qatar does not interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries.

"Our aim is to cooperate with Egypt which protects the Arab interests, referring to the depth of relations between the Egyptian and Qatari peoples. Sheikh Hamad hailed the Egyptian leadership for supporting Gaza, halting the Israeli aggression on Gaza and seeking to enhance Palestinian reconciliation. He said the Qatari aid to Gaza amounted to $400 million which paid for purchasing building materials from the Egyptian market.

On his part, Qandil hailed the distinctive Qatari role in supporting Egypt politically and economically. He said talks dealt with means of expanding Qatari investment in Egypt and stalled projects in order to create positive field of investment in Egypt.

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