Activities of Egyptian-Qatari Business Council frozen due to Doha policies
Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abu Hashima - YOUM7

CAIRO: The activities of the Egyptian-Qatari Business Council headed by Muharram Hilal have been banned for 10 days due to Qatar’s policies, Egyptian businessman and Vice-Chairman of the council Ahmed Abu Hashima said Monday.

Hashima said in an interview on al-Hayah Channel with media personality Moataz al-Demerdash that the council did not use to interfere in political issues and used “to take into consideration that there are about 120 thousand Egyptian workers in Qatar.”

“We decided freezing the council and present a request to the general assembly in order for it to be dissolved,” Hashima said, adding that this is due to Qatar’s policies.

The relations between Egypt and Qatar have been intense after the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, with Qatar condemning the ouster of Egypt’s “first democratically elected president.”

Egypt’s ambassador to Qatar was recalled to Cairo on March 6 over Qatar’s support for Islamists around the region, including ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and his supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood, after the withdrawal of envoys by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Last January, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour was expected to issue a decision to reshuffle the council that includes about 15 Egyptian members and 15 Qatari members, a source from the Ministry of Industry told Youm7 in January.

The former Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade Hatem Saleh appointed the current head of the council, Hilal, 14 months ago.

‏The bilateral trade volume between Egypt and Qatar reached $383 million in 2011, and the total Qatari investments in Egypt were estimated at $568 million in June 2012, according to figures from the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Last June, the Qatari Diar real estate company was negotiating with Egyptian officials to build 1 million low and middle income housing units, an economic source told Business and Finance News.

The move comes amid efforts on both sides to mend Egypt-Qatar relations.

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