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French FM arrives in Kuwait after expressing need to end Qatar blockade

The French FM visited Doha on Saturday [AFP]

Date of publication: 16 July, 2017

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has arrived in Kuwait on Sunday, as he continues his efforts to end the Gulf crisis.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Kuwait on Sunday, just a day after visiting blockaded Qatar where he expressed his country's willingness to mediate between the conflicting Arab states.

The minister, who urged the lifting of the Saudi-led sanctions imposed on Qatar a day earlier is expected to meet officials in Kuwait in his continued efforts to solve what he described as a concerning "deteriorating situation".

During an official visit to Doha on Saturday, he suggested Paris "should be a facilitator in the mediation" led by Kuwait.

"France is talking to all these countries to help in the search for a solution," he Le Drian told reporters in Doha, after he met his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, calling for "dialogue and calm" between the Arab states involved in the blockade on Qatar, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

He also said "France calls for the lifting, as soon as possible, of the measures that affect the populations in particular, bi-national families that have been separated or students."

Le Drian was in Doha and Saudi Arabia on Saturday and is expected to travel to the United Arab Emirates later on Sunday.

The French official had also said his country counted on "reinforcing cooperation with Qatar in the fight against terrorism, particularly in combatting terrorism financing".

His Qatari host responded suggesting the fight against terrorism needed collective efforts and "cannot be shouldered by one state".

"Combatting terrorism also cannot be through practising political and intellectual terrorism against a state," Sheikh Mohammed said, in reference to measures taken against Doha by its neighbours.

The alliance issued a 13-point ultimatum to Qatar last month, which included demands to close a Turkish military base, shuttering al-Jazeera media network, and ending relations with Iran.

Qatar called the demands "unreasonable" and said it infringed on its "sovereignty".

 

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