KARIM JAAFAR / AFP / Getty Images
June 13, 2017: Football players of Qatar’s national team wear t-shirts bearing portraits of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in support of the Qatari leader amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis surrounding Doha and other Gulf countries.
Regarding the domestic economy, Egypt is on track to receive the second tranche of its IMF loan— $1.25 billion — within the next few weeks, El-Garhy stated.
Cairo must lower its inflation rate and eliminate energy subsidies, according to the IMF’s loan conditions, and El-Garhy said his government was committed to both reforms, noting that the central bank is expecting 13 percent inflation in 2018, versus 30 percent today.
He was also optimistic that inbound tourism would recover after a string of incidents, including April’s deadly bombings of Coptic churches in holiday hotspot Alexandria, hindered visitor arrivals.
In 2015, the bombing of a Russian plane that took off from the popular Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh led the U.K. to suspend flights to the tourist destination and resulted in Moscow stopping flights to Egypt entirely.
“The decision by the Russians and the British affected us a great deal in 2016, we hope they come back from that decision soon,” El-Garhy said. “We’ve abided by all their requirements in terms of security at airports, so we believe in the coming period tourism will come back in a strong way.”