Saudi Arabia, Qatar compete on the economy of New Egypt
During a meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Fayza Abu el-Naga, the Qatari Minister of State for International Co-operation, Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, announced that Qatar pledges to invest $10 billion in Egypt to support its economy, including a stake in a new $9bn port near the northern entrance to the Suez Canal.
These investments were expected to be in sectors including tourism, housing, oil, transport, agriculture, education, health and justice. These projects are also part of the US$10 billion pledged by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Ahmad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Qatar, which had strained relations with Egypt during the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, is among the first countries to support the new government.
Some sources revealed that Qatar is interested,” in exchange of these investments, to see the former Egyptian president in the gallows." According to sources in Egypt, Qatar is still considering the existence of Mubarak as a shadow on the creation of "the New Egypt." The generous investments, thus, are considered as an incentive to the military junta to put Mubarak on trial. On the opposite, there are reports that Qatar's rival, Saudi Arabia has also offered generous investments to the new Egyptian rulers, in order to rescue Mubarak from the death sentence.
It is worth mentioning that Egypt’s justice minister said the former leader could face the death penalty for the brutal crackdown on protests that ultimately pushed him from power. Mubarak, who turned 83 is reportedly in poor health. He is detained at a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh resort while prosecutors investigate charges of corruption, abuse of state funds and the killing of over 800 protesters.