DOHA (Al Jazeera) – Egypt’s president has met with Qatar’s chief diplomat in Cairo as ties between the two nations gradually improve after Egypt and three Persian Gulf nations ended their blockade of the energy-rich country earlier this year.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani agreed on “intensifying joint consultation and coordination” to boost bilateral ties between the two nations, el-Sisi’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
El-Sisi also received an invitation from Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to visit Doha. It would be the first for the Egyptian leader to the Persian Gulf state since he led the military’s overthrow of an elected president in 2013 amid mass protests against his divisive one-year rule. El-Sisi was defense minister at the time.
Earlier, Qatar’s foreign minister met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
Egypt’s foreign ministry said the ministers discussed taking further measures to promote “the positive atmosphere” in their bilateral ties.
In January, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ended their blockade of Qatar, which started in 2017 and included the four countries severing their diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.
The four countries that jointly boycotted Qatar had hoped their embargo and media blitz would pressure it to end its close relations with Turkey and Iran.
The boycott failed to change Doha’s stance, however, instead buoying its young ruler domestically as patriotic fervor swept through Qatar in support of his resolve.