Friday, June 24, 2022

Qatar’s Tamim in Cairo : It is called politics

Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived to Cairo on Friday in a two-days visit that is the first since the famous Ula Reconciliation Declaration in January 2021 between Qatar and the Quartet countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia , United Arabi Emirates and Bahrain).

Tamim was received warmly by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi receiving Tamim in Cairo on Friday
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi receiving Tamim in Cairo on Friday 
"Egyptian Presidency" 

It is expected that on Saturday that they will hold talks and new business and economic agreements aka Qatari investments mostly will be announced just like in the case of Saudi Arabia and Emirates in the past four weeks. It is not a secret that in the economic crisis , Egyptian government did not hide that it needs direct foreign investments and our brothers are in the Gulf are going to help us.

In March 2022 , Egyptian and Qatari officials agreed on a package of USD 5 billion in investments and partnerships in Egypt. On Wednesday , Egypt and Qatar signed a MoU on financial policies coordination in Doha.

I expect that the talks will be about energy sector and it won’t be surprised that Qatar is interested in liquefying its gas in Egypt to export it to Europe just like Israel and EU’s deal last week. Already Algeria will be the second stop for Tamim’s tour. Other than being Arab countries , gas is the common factor between Egypt, Qatar and Algeria.

Now this is the first visit for Tamim since the 2021 reconciliation after 3-years of diplomatic rift by the Arab Quartet countries and before it another cold war of words since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi and the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in 2013.

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi receiving Tamim in Cairo on Friday
Sisi and Tamim in Cairo on Friday 
"Egyptian Presidency"

That rift is now something of the past because that’s politics.

For the first since 2013 or even for the first time for real if I remember correctly the flags of Qatar were hanged in the famous Salah Salem Street where the Gulf state ruler’s parade is going to pass. 

A big welcome billboard welcoming the ruling prince is hanged on some new bridge of those bridges in Heliopolis featuring the photos of El-Sisi and Tamim.

billboard welcoming Tamim
"The land of Egypt welcomes its guest his excellency Sheikh 
 Tamim bin Hamed Al Thani , the Prince of Qatar" the billboard read in Cairo 

A hashtag called “#Welcome_Tamim” in Arabic is top trending in Egypt after his arrival.

It is worth to mention there is also “#I_reject_Tamim_visit_to_Egypt” in Arabic is also top trending thanks to a group of angry Pro-regime supporters who can’t forget what Qatar did from supporters the Muslim Brotherhood despite the fact that Sisi himself welcomed Tamim warmly himself.

#Welcome_Tamim hashtag along
#I_reject_Tamim_visit hastag trending in Egypt

It is natural to find a group of regime supporters attacking Qatar and Tamim because for years they were fed that Qatar and Tamim were the source of anything evil in the universe via the mainstream and social media.

Dear friends , this is politics where the enemies can be your allies and your allies can be your enemies at anytime.

The idea is not to cross some red lines in your rivalry.

I am afraid that our mainstream media as usual crossed those lines when it comes to the attack on Qatar.

Now many Egyptians are waiting to see the same TV hosts who used to call Tamim “gay” and to mock his mother Sheikha Mouza are going to cover the important visit.

It is business as usual for them, they will cover it as usual and read the official statements without inflammatory comments like in the old days.

I hope in this visit the file of the remaining Al-Jazeera reporters from Al-Jazeera Egypt staff currently detained to be closed and they are released.

FYI, it is interesting that Tamim is spending the anniversary of becoming Qatar’s ruler in Cairo. He became the Emir after his father Sheikh Hamad abdicated the throne on 25 June 2013.

2013 was one hell of a year without doubt in the Arab region. 2022 also looks to be a year to remember thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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