Egypt pays last Qatar’s debts amid increasing tension

Egypt has paid $1 billion to Qatar, marking the last tranche of debts to the Gulf nation, an Egyptian official said on Saturday amid tensions between the two Arab countries.

Governor of Egypt’s Central Bank Tareq Amer told the state news agency, Mena, that the $1 billion had been repaid on Friday. “The sum was the value of bonds launched by Egypt during the rule of [now-] ousted president Mohammad Morsi and was covered by Qatar National Bank,” he added.

Qatar is a staunch backer of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Doha offered $7 billion worth of grants and deposits to Egypt during the year of Dr. Morsi’s presidency, according to Egyptian reports.

President Morsi was deposed by the army in 2013 following the military coup made by the military. Ties have since soured between Egypt and Qatar.

Amer said that his country, which is grappling with economic woes, is keen to honor its foreign financial obligations.

“Egypt is committed to meeting its foreign commitments to any side. Egypt has not and will not lag behind in respecting any foreign obligation,” Amer added.

The Egyptian economy has been in the doldrums due to the unrest that gripped the country following the 2011 uprising. Tourism, a main source of income to Egypt, received a harsh blow last October when a Russian plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 people on board.


Egypt’s foreign currency reserves increased by $510 million to reach $17.5 billion in late May, according to the Central Bank. The reserves hit $36.5 billion in 2010, months before the revolt that forced long-time president Hosni Mubarak to step down.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait have pumped billions of dollars to prop up the Egyptian economy since the military coup.

Qatar has, meanwhile, been critical of Egypt’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood leaders and followers. Last month, the two countries’ ties further deteriorated after Doha criticized an Egyptian court’s accusations for Morsi and two journalists working with the Qatari news TV network Al-Jazeera of leaking state documents in a case known as spying for Qatar.