Despite Egypt turmoil, Qatar expedites gas aid

Aug 22, 2013, 9:22 AM EDT

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar announced on Thursday the departure for Egypt of a third shipment of natural gas with a fourth tanker loaded and expected to depart later today in an apparent bid to expedite badly needed energy aid to the North African country despite the woes of Qatar's Islamist allies there.

The fifth and last shipment of natural gas that Qatar had promised the government of ousted President Mohammed Morsi is expected to depart this September, state media reported citing sources in the Foreign Ministry. Earlier this week, the Qatar News Agency reported that the second shipment had left the oil-rich Gulf state's Ras Laffan Port Aug. 9.

The energy shipments are to help Egypt's overburdened networks during peak summer use.

Relations between Qatar and the new military-backed leadership in Egypt have chilled after the July 3 military coup and the crackdown on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar is a key backer of the Brotherhood in the region. It gave Morsi's government around $8 billion in aid over the past year.

The news agency did not indicate the size of the shipment.