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Egypt Signs Reconciliation Agreement with Qatar

Egypt Signs Reconciliation Agreement with Qatar

Sameh Shoukry at a press conference in Berlin in January 2016 (Axel Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt has become a signatory of the Al Ula agreement, which refers to a newly reached accord between Qatar and the Arab Quartet nations—Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. The reconciliation agreement was signed earlier today as part of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, held in the city of Al Ula in Saudi Arabia.

The agreement was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman who said that the GCC member states have signed an agreement in order to enhance “solidarity and stability” in the MENA region and resolve the boycott against Qatar.

Representing Egypt was the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry who signed the agreement, which consists of a declaration of intent to resolve the discord with Qatar, with the aim of eventually lifting the embargo led by the four Arab states.

As part of the preliminary agreement, Egypt has also agreed “in principle” to open its airspace to flights to and from Qatar, according to Gulf News.

“This comes within the framework of Egypt’s constant keenness to [achieve] solidarity among the Arab quartet states and in their orientation towards consolidating ranks, and removing any disagreements among brotherly Arab nations,” according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The reconciliation comes following years of isolation for Qatar, which saw its ties with its Arab neighbors suffer. The diplomatic rift culminated in 2017 when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formally severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, contending that the small nation was sponsoring terrorism and that it was “too close to Iran,” according to Al Ahram Online.

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