French FM visits Qatar, calls for end to tensions and boycott

World Today

In this photo provided by the Qatar News Agency, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, left, speaks during a news conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, July 15, 2017. Le Drian called on Qatar’s neighbors to immediately lift measures impacting thousands of people in the Gulf, becoming the latest foreign diplomat to visit the region and attempt to find a resolution to a crisis that has dragged on for more than a month. (Qatar News Agency via AP)

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is calling for a quick end to Qatar’s diplomatic crisis. His remarks came from Doha, where he begins a Gulf tour to support Kuwait’s mediation efforts.

The aim is to de-escalate the political row that began last month, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar.

CGTN’s Adel El-Mahrouky reports from Doha.

The French Foreign Minister began his two-day Gulf tour from Doha in Qatar. He met Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and his Qatari counter-part, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, to discuss a fair solution for a diplomatic crisis.

Le Drian stressed that France wants a quick end to the tension and the blockade enforced.

“The sovereignty of Qatar is not going to be questionable here. This was the message delivered to me by the Emir of the state of Qatar. We have to find a quick solution to the crisis that is taking place. France is calling for measures to be taken, to lift the siege undergoing, particularly the harms that has affected dual national families in the region,” said Le Drian.

On the other hand, Qatar has renewed its commitment to fighting terrorism. However, Sheikh Mohammed stressed that such a mission will need collaboration between regional countries.

“The objective of all countries of the world is to combat terrorism and the funding of terrorism. But the procedures that are taking place are inimical to these efforts. We need to concert efforts between different countries and this should not be in the hands and shoulders of one country only. We should not practice intellectual and political terrorism,” said Qatar’s top diplomat.

Le Drian is on a two day visit to the Arabian Gulf. Doha was his first stop before heading to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE. France is following Germany, Britain and the United States, whose foreign ministers have taken similar tours in the Gulf, aiming to tune down the tension in the region.

France may not be as influential in this region as the United States. The U.S. Secretary of State left Doha on Thursday more or less empty handed.

There is a great deal of business between Europe and most of the GCC countries; it’s why they want this crisis to end quickly. It’s also why Kuwait mediation efforts are getting global support, hoping that at least the crisis doesn’t get worse.