October 11, 2014 / 8:52 AM / 4 years ago

Egypt has paid back $500 million to Qatar: central bank governor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Egypt has paid back $500 million to Qatar and will soon return the remainder of the money the Gulf state deposited into the Egyptian central bank after the 2011 revolution, the bank’s governor said on Saturday.

Egypt's Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez speaks during the opening session of the "Egypt/GCC Investment Forum - Strategic Partnerships, Economic Synergies" in Cairo December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Qatar helped prop up the Egyptian economy in the aftermath of the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak and eventually brought Islamist President Mohamed Mursi to power in Egypt’s first democratic elections.

The monarchy, a strong supporter of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, provided some $7.5 billion in loans and grants during Mursi’s year in power.

“Egypt has already transferred $500 million to Qatar on Oct. 1 and will refund $2.5 billion at the beginning of November, because they (Qatar) did not ask for renewal,” Hisham Ramez told Reuters on the sidelines of IMF and World Bank meetings.

If Egypt pays back the $2.5 billion in addition to the $500 million already paid, it will have returned all of Qatar’s post-revolution deposits.

Relations between Cairo and Doha have deteriorated since then-army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed Mursi from power following mass protests against his rule last summer.

Sisi, who was elected president in May, has led a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that has seen hundreds killed and thousands imprisoned in the past year.

Since Mursi’s ouster, Egypt has relied on financial support from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, which see the Brotherhood as a threat to their regional interests.

Reporting By Ehab Farouk; Writing by Shadi Bushra; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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