Ever since the popularly backed coup in Egypt in July 2013, there has been a break in relations between Cairo and Doha affecting not only ties between both states but also other matters of interest. Following the devastating Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah proposed the establishment of a commercial port in Gaza to be “internationally supervised.” However, it is unlikely that Egypt, which is suspicious of Qatar’s intentions and the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas that runs Gaza, would allow the construction of this vital port to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza. That is just one example of how this break in relations has had negative repercussions on third parties.
Qatar landed itself in hot water earlier this year with its Gulf neighbors following accusations that it is backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors in March only to reinstate them this week following the Riyadh Agreement. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz personally called on the Egyptian government to back the Riyadh Agreement and rebuild ties with Qatar. The Egyptian government welcomed the call and declared it to be a “new era” in Arab ties.