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Egypt returns USD2 billion to Qatar

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September 20
12:21 PM 2013

Egypt recently returned the USD2 billion which Qatar deposited with its central bank. This comes after discussions on the conversion of these funds into three year bonds broke down, according to Egyptian Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez last Thursday.

On another front, Egyptian authorities have refused a Qatari request to increase the number of airline flights between the two countries. This was confirmed by Egyptian airport authorities. This is also another clear sign of the rising tensions between the two Gulf states.

The relationship between Cairo and Doha have deteriorated after the Islamist Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi last July 3. Qatar had been a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, giving or lending out USD7.5 billion to Egypt during the reign of Mursi.

Qatar had earlier sent USD3 billion, where about USD1 billion into three year bonds just last May. Ramez said in a telephone interview with Reuters that Qatar had agreed to convert the remaining USD2 billion but changed their mind.

He said, "They wanted to postpone it, then they said they would do it like they announced last time and then they came back with some amendments, doing part and postponing the other part for a time, which we found not suitable for us." He added, "So we just repaid the deposit."

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