Mnuchin meets Qatari, Egyptian counterparts in Cairo
Mnuchin meets Egypt, Qatar finance ministers in Cairo after reconciliation agreement
The meeting was the first time a Qatari official visited Egypt since the Saudi-led blockade began in 2017.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with his Qatari and Egyptian counterparts in a Cairo hotel, marking the first time in three years the two Middle East countries met since the blockade crisis, marking a shift in relations following reconciliation efforts at the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Mohamed Maait, the Egyptian Minister of Finance, Qatari Minister of Finance Ali Sherif Al-Emadi and US Secretary of Treasury Stephen Mnuchin met at the St. Regis Cairo Hotel.
The hotel is one of the most important projects by Qatari Diar in Egypt, with an investment of more than $1 billion.
The meeting, though little more than an inauguration of a hotel, is diplomatically significant. It is the first time since the Qatar blockade began in 2017 that a Qatari official visited Egypt, which had joined in Saudi Arabia’s blockade efforts.
"We congratulate the Qatari Diar Company for the opening of this hotel today, which came as a result of the company’s decision to invest in the tourism sector, one of the most vital sectors of the Egyptian economy," Maait said.
Al-Emadi said, "The State of Qatar, by investing through the Qatari Diar Company in this project, practically confirms its commitment to contribute to supporting local communities and increasing job opportunities. and This project is one of the Qatari investments in Egypt, which exceeds $5 billion in various fields."
"The completion of this project would not have been possible without the efforts of both sides," added Mnuchin.
"By this investment, we can see the impact of economic cooperation in creating job opportunities and developing common interests in investment opportunities."
Earlier, Mnuchin met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ahead of his visit to Sudan to discuss regional issues, including talks between Sudan and Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam.
This comes as Qatar restored full ties with the four nations that severed relations with Doha in a rift that began over three years ago.
Saudi Arabia led a coalition of countries in the Gulf and beyond that cut ties and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, charging that it was too close to Iran and backed radical Islamist groups – allegations Doha has consistently denied.
"What happened today is…the turning of the page on all points of difference and a full return of diplomatic relations," Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a press conference at the conclusion of a landmark GCC summit in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi state media said that de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met separately with Qatar's ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, after the pair publicly embraced at the airport.
"During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and ways of consolidating the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joint action," the official Saudi Press Agency said.