Qatar excludes EQBC members from visa suspension
The Embassy of Qatar in Cairo - YOUM7 (Archive)
By YASMINE SAMRA

CAIRO: The Qatari Ambassador in Cairo assured the head of the Egyptian-Qatari Business Council (EQBC) in a phone conversation to The Cairo Post Thursday that members of the joint council will enjoy all the same advantages and exclusive benefits, despite the rising political tensions between the two countries.

Head of EQBC Moharam Helal told The Cairo Post that the Qatari Embassy in Egypt still grants one-year entry visas to Egyptian businessmen, provided that the EQBC approves them as members.

His statements come a day after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE withdrew their envoys and ambassadors from Qatar.

These decisions show that the dispute is not only between Egypt and Qatar, but between Qatar and the majority of Arab countries, Abdel Atty said, calling on Qatar to determine its position clearly from joint Arab interests.

However, a number of Egyptian businessmen complained that the Qatari Embassy refused to grant them entry visas. Further, a businessman told Youm7 Thursday the embassy declined to renew the 5-year visas of Egyptian businessmen starting Wednesday.

Another businessman said he went yesterday to the Qatari Embassy to renew his one-year visa, but instead received approval for a six-month visa. He stated that he considered this to be the first response to the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE ambassadors from Doha.

Relations between Cairo and Doha have been strained since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

Qatar had pledged Egypt with U.S. $8 billion in the wake of the January 25 Revolution, but Egypt returned a one-time deposit of U.S. $2 billion last September, as tension escalated between the two countries.

Additional reporting by Medhat Adel.

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