Friday, July 17, 2015

Foreign Minister Shoukry : Qatar, Turkey invited to opening of new Suez Canal

The new Suez Canal project will be inaugurated on 6 August

Qatar-Egypt

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) sits with Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani upon his arrival ahead of the Arab Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 28, 2015

Egypt has invited all the countries of the world, including Qatar and Turkey, to attend the inauguration of the New Suez Canal on 6 August, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday.

The inauguration of the new Suez Canal is an event related to international commerce and it is illogic to only invite specific countries to the inauguration ceremony, Shoukry said during a meeting with diplomatic correspondents on Wednesday.

Ties between Egypt and both Qatar and Turkey have strained following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The two Brotherhood-sympathetic countries have severely criticised his ouster and the authorities that took office after him.

Turkish President Erodgan repeatedly slammed Egyptian authorities and demanded the release of Morsi, who is currently standing trial in four separate cases in Egypt.

Qatar – a strong ally of Morsi during his term in power – for its part has been criticised by Egypt and its Gulf allies for its role in hosting Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled Egypt. The Islamist group was designated as a terrorist organisation in November 2013.

Recently, Qatar has reportedly deported a number of Brotherhood figures from its territories.

Qatar's suspension in December 2014 of its Egypt-focused Al Jazeera channel, accused by Cairo of serving as a mouthpiece for the Brotherhood, as well as its banishing of seven Brotherhood leaders in September were seen as good-will gestures by Doha to mend relations between both states.