The Qatari government has allocated US$500 million to support Egypt's general budget and decided to increase its investments in Egypt with US$10 billion, announced the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abouelnaga on Thursday.
She said Qatar decided to increase its investments in those development sectors that represent a priority to Egypt, to help the Egyptian government face the economic crisis, adding that the Egyptian government is currently studying the Qatari projects.
She said in a press statement after her meeting with the Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled Atiyya that both ministers discussed the Qatari financial aid package.
"We discussed various areas of development and investment cooperation between Egypt and Qatar, and the mutual visits, especially the visit of his highness the Emir of the State of Qatar to Cairo, the visit of the Egyptian Prime Minister to Doha, as well as the multiple visits of the Qatari international cooperation minister to Egypt," said Abouelnaga.
Atiyya met with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, and handed him an invitation to Egypt to participate in the summit of the International Forum of Gas Exporting Countries, scheduled for 15 November in Doha. The forum includes ten members currently headed by Egypt.
Economic support to Egypt from the Gulf states comes amidst fear of an imminent financial crisis in the wake of dropping reserves and the withdrawal of foreign investments. Some activists fear that the monetary intervention of Gulf states in the state budget could have political implications in the country's current democratic transition.
Last month, the Kuwaiti Al-Watan newspaper quoted sources as saying that Gulf states are mulling potential membership of Egypt in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Critics view the move as an attempt by the Gulf to expand its power in the region.
Foreign aid to the state budget has always raised concerns about ways in which it is spent since it doesn't transform into tangible outputs.
Translated from the Arabic Edition