Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Macron urges lifting of Gulf blockade against Qatar

Qatar to buy 24 Typhoon jets from UK's BAE Systems UK signs £2bn fighter jet deal with Qataris
Melinda Barton | 17 September, 2017, 09:15

The Qatari emir met earlier on Friday in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the crisis would be resolved only through quiet diplomacy.

The emir was in Berlin on his first tour overseas since the start of the crisis, having visited Turkey the previous day and headed next to France and then the UN General Assembly in NY.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani expressed his desire to end the dispute with Arab neighbours.

Responding to a question about the Federation Internationale de Football Association 2022 World Cup in Qatar and whether the talks dealt with this issue, Chancellor Merkel said this issue was not addressed during the talks but indicated that she was aware that the State of Qatar has carried out reforms on its expatriate workers and that Germany hopes these reforms continue.

"It's cause for great concern that after 100 days a solution to this conflict is still not in sight", she said.

"And we spoke about the need for all the parties to sit at one table again as soon as possible".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, accusing the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas of financing terrorism and cozying up to their arch-rival Iran.

She said that she supported efforts by Kuwait and the USA to mediate an end to the dispute. "We may disagree with some Arab countries on defining the roots of terrorism, but we agree on the need to fight it", he added.

The emir stressed that Qatar hoped to resolve the crisis and "will keep supporting the Kuwait mediation until we reach a solution that satisfies all parties".

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged the lifting of a Saudi-led embargo on Qatar in effect since June. He left the Elysee palace without speaking to the press.