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French president Macron urges lifting of Qatar blockade

The Emir of Qatar is currently on a tour of Europe. [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 September, 2017

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged the lifting of a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar after meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged the lifting of a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar after meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with their Shia rival Iran.

Doha, however, vehemently denies the claims.

Macron called for "the embargo measures affecting the people of Qatar, in particular families and students, to be lifted as quickly as possible," the president's office said in a statement after meeting with al-Thani.

He also expressed "his concern over the tensions that threaten regional stability, undermining the political resolution of crises and our collective fight against terrorism," the statement added.

Riyadh and its supporters severed air and sea links with Qatar as part of the blockade and closed its only land border, cutting off vital routes for imports including food.

The Emir of Qatar is currently on a tour of Europe and earlier on Friday met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the crisis would be resolved only through quiet diplomacy.

"We must take a diplomatic approach to reach a fair and positive solution to the Gulf crisis," she said, noting the Emir's willingness to do everything in his power to resolve the diplomatic spat.

Al-Thani said during the talks that Qatar maintains its stance on dialogue to resolve the dispute with its neighbouring Arab states.

Both Paris and Berlin back diplomatic efforts led by Kuwait, a key mediator in the crisis along with the United States.

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