The sources, who asked not to be named, said the two leaders will meet in the Saudi capital Riyadh under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, as part of ongoing Saudi efforts to end a longstanding rift between Cairo and Doha over the latter’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood organization.
This development follows a meeting between Sisi and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, a special envoy to the Qatari Emir, in Cairo on Saturday, as well as the Head of the Saudi Royal Court, Khalid Al-Tuwaijiri.
Sisi’s office issued a statement after Saturday’s meeting saying that Cairo looked forward to “a new era in relations” between the two countries and which would help “erase past disagreements.”
The statement said President Sisi “appreciated the sincere efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, which seek to bring about unity between Arab states and put an end to divisions, while also fully respecting the will of these countries’ peoples and non-interference in their internal affairs.”
Relations between Cairo and Doha took a turn for the worse after the ouster of former president and senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mursi, in July 2013, with Egypt and other Gulf countries accusing Qatar of supporting the Islamist organization.
Saturday’s meeting was the result of efforts by King Abdullah to ease the tensions between Qatar and Egypt, following a summit in Riyadh in November which ended a months-long rift between Qatar and three of its Gulf neighbors, also due to its support for the Islamist group, which is now banned in Egypt and several Gulf countries.
The Qatari government, meanwhile, said on Saturday it “fully supported, as it always has, its fellow Arab country, Egypt, since Egypt’s security is tied to Qatar’s security,” adding that the two countries “were linked by the deepest bonds and the strongest brotherly ties.”
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told Asharq Al-Awsat he and the organization “greatly welcomed” the resumption of “normal relations” between Egypt and Qatar, praising the efforts of King Abdullah in bringing both countries to the table once again.
Mirza Al-Khuwaildi contributed reporting from Dammam. Fahd Al-Zayabi contributed reporting from Royadh.