Aside from a resumption of bilateral ties, it remains unclear whether the issue of imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists has been raised in ongoing senior meetings.
Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi landed in Qatar on Tuesday in his first visit to the Gulf state since the 2017 GCC crisis.
The Egyptian leader is scheduled to stay in Doha for two days during a trip that will see him meet Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Analysts on social media speculated that the visit would likely discuss bilateral ties along with Libya’s ongoing political turmoil amid an absence of elections.
Several Libyan officials have made trips to Qatar in recent weeks, including Head of Libya’s Government of National Unity Abdul Hamid Al Dbeiba and Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh.
Saleh travelled to Qatar on Saturday and met with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Monday.
“Egypt’s El-Sisi to make first visit to Qatar after four-year row. Discussions likely on investments, energy and food cooperation, etc but also Libya likely on the agenda,” tweeted Anna Jacobs, Senior Gulf Analyst at International Crisis Group.
Meetings between the Qatari and Egyptian leaders come amid a warming of diplomatic ties between Doha and Cairo following the full restoration of ties in 2021 with the Al Ula Accord.
In 2017, Egypt had joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to impose an illegal air, land and sea embargo on Qatar over claims that it supported terrorism. Doha vehemently rejected those claims as baseless.
On 24 June, the amir made a similar visit to Cairo, marking the second such trip to Egypt since the 2013 military coup that saw Sisi seize power from then-leader Mohamed Morsi.
Sisi is the first Egyptian leader to visit Doha country since the coup, in which he seized power from Egypt’s first ever democratically elected president before carrying out a mass crackdown on opposition figures.
While diplomatic relations between the two countries have appeared to warm, the Sisi regime continues to hammer down on the press, including journalists from the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network.
Side from bilateral ties, it remains unclear whether the issue of imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists has been raised in ongoing senior meetings, or whether it will be a point of discussion during his trip to Doha.
Last month, Egypt authorities renewed the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Rabie El-Sheikh for 45 days on Monday, a decision slammed by the Qatar-based network as an attack on press freedom.
In a statement, Al Jazeera condemned Cairo for its continuous imprisonment of El-Sheikh without charge despite his health continuing to deteriorate. The periodic renewal of prisoners in Egypt is a tactic often used by the regime every 15-to-45 days.
There are currently three other Al Jazeera journalists behind bars in Cairo, including Hisham Abdel Aziz, Bahauddin Ibrahim, and Ahmed al-Najdi. Like El-Sheikh, all of them are being held without a charge, based on similar accusations linked to allegedly “spreading false information”.
In June, Reporters Without Borders said the four journalists’ “the real crime” was working for Al Jazeera Media Network, which has continued to face a crackdown by Egyptian authorities.