Qatar has announced that it is to provide another $2.5 billion to support the Egyptian economy; $500 million will be an outright grant and $2 billion will take the form of a deposit in the Central Bank of Egypt. This will bring Qatar’s total assistance to Egypt to $5 billion, said the Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani. The announcement was made following his meetings with President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s prime Hisham Qandil, and the finance ministers of the two countries.
According to the Qatari Prime Minister, there is no truth in allegations that his government is interfering in Egyptian affairs and attempting to buy or have control over the Suez Canal. He described such claims as “ridiculous jokes” arising out of political differences over Egypt’s future but unworthy of a response nevertheless.
“What concerns Qatar is the strength and stability of Egypt,” said Sheikh Hamad, “because Egypt’s strength is strength for all Arabs.” A state of Egypt’s weight stature and economic and human resources cannot be dominated by any other state, he told reporters.
Mr. Qandil said that a technical delegation headed by the Qatari Finance Minister will visit Egypt next week to look into the implementation of future Qatari investments in Egypt, which are worth $18 billion. This will include $8 billion for a tourist resort and $10 billion towards the East Port Said project. He noted that problems in implementing the Qatari projects, which have been stalled, are now solved.
When asked about Syria, Sheikh Hamad described the speech given by Bashar Al Assad as shocking, noting that the Syrian president is being stubborn with himself and his people. With regards to the alleged cancellation of the Emir of Qatar’s visit to the West Bank, he insisted that Qatar is not biased toward one faction or another and the visit to the besieged Gaza Strip should not be seen as bias. In any case, he pointed out, no date had actually been set for a visit to Ramallah by the Emir so it could not, as the media suggests, have been “cancelled”.