Egypt has received an additional $1bn in financial aid from oil-rich Qatar, in addition to $2bn already received by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
In a press conference held by Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and his Qatari counterpart on Tuesday, the later said Qatari aid to Egypt will increase to $1bn from $500m. Money loaned to the CBE will also be doubled to $4bn.
In his meeting with President Mohamed Morsy, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem said Egypt would pass this “critical stage,” affirming that Egypt and Qatar will work closely in the coming period to enhance mutual investments in both countries.
Talks between the two leaders produced agreements for Qatari investment in two major projects in the Mediterranean and in eastern Port Said to the tune of $18bn. “A Qatari delegation will arrive next week to Egypt to launch the two projects,” bin Jassem said.
The Qatari premier refuted claims that Qatar is attempting to dominate Egypt by increasing funds. “This is a ridiculous joke. A state with the weight of Egypt and its economic and human resources cannot be dominated by any other state,” he told reporters.
He added: “We lean on Egypt and we value all its roles.” The Egyptian people are the “ones who decided on their elected leader,” according to bin Jassem. “Even if Qataris were able to vote in Egyptian elections, they wouldn’t be able to make a difference due to their small population.”
Responding to his statements, Qandil said that Qatari investors in Egypt work according to Egyptian laws and authorities and should not be blamed for trying to develop the country.
Bin Jassem denied reports that the Suez Canal will be sold or leased to Qatar. “We have not heard about this issue except from Egyptian media. Qatar cannot interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs especially considering that the Suez Canal is a part of Egypt’s heritage,” he said.