Qatar has pledged to invest $10 billion in Egypt.
Qatar has pledged to invest US$10 billion in Egypt, a country with which it had strained relations under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, a minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Egypt’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Fayza Abu el-Naga, said the Egyptian-Qatari ministerial committee met on Saturday and ‘discussed ways to promote Qatari investment in Egypt,’ the official MENA news agency reported.
It said the investments were expected to be in sectors including tourism, housing, oil, transport, agriculture, education, health and justice. “These projects are part of the 10 billion dollars pledged by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Ahmad bin Khalifa al-Thani,” Naga was quoted as saying by MENA.
During a visit to Egypt in May, the emir had assured Egyptian Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi of “increasing Qatari investment in Egypt,” it added.
Tantawi is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has ruled Egypt since the February 11 ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising. Qatar, which had strained relations with Mubarak, is among the first countries to support the new government.
Egypt has been particularly hit by falling tourist arrivals and near zero economic growth after the revolt against Mubarak and the chaos which accompanied it.
In a bid to encourage democracy in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, the G8 on Friday promised a package of US$40 billion for Arab countries.
Due to the recent political turmoil and developments, Egypt needs all the investment that it can get. This is a move by Qatar to position itself on the good side of the Egyptian leadership after the transition of former President Mubarak. While under Mubarak, Egypt was annoyed by Qatar’s attempts to project an image of being an equal key regional player of the same weight. This was evident when Qatar decided to mediate talks between between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels, and by calling for an extraordinary summit in Doha during the Israeli war on Gaza to which the Iranian president was invited. Under both instances, Qatar was viewed by the Egyptians treading on their turf on issues that have been of particular concern to Egypt.