Qatar to provide cash-strapped Egypt with $3 billion financial aid
The financial aid will be in the form of either Egyptian treasury bonds or deposits in the country's central bank, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim told reporters at a press conference attended by his Egyptian counterpart Hisham Qandil.
The oil-rich Gulf nation has already granted cash-strapped Egypt $5 billion, including a $1 billion grant and $4 billion worth of deposits at the Central Bank of Egypt, since the country's January 25 Revolution.
Bin Jassim's announcement contradicts a statement made early last month by Qatari Finance Minister Youssef Kamal that his country did not expect to give further financial aid to Egypt “in the immediate term.”
The Qatari prime minister also declared the emirate's intention to export natural gas to Egypt, to help the most populous Arab nation meet its increased energy needs during the summer.
Roughly 56 percent of local natural gas consumption in Egypt goes to the electricity sector, a proportion which increases significantly in the summer as gas is diverted from other sectors to meet rising demand for electricity.
Egypt had entered into negotiations with Qatar in September 2012 over importing liquefied natural gas, but no agreement was reached.
Sheikh Hamad also vowed to ease financial restrictions for Egyptian businesses operating in Qatar.