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France steps in to resolve Gulf crisis

16 July 2017

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a bilateral meeting, agreed to take collective efforts to counter terrorism and extremism and stop terror financing, reports Al- Arabia.

Qatar's foreign minister welcomed France's support for mediation aimed at finding a solution "based on constructive dialogue. and respect of state sovereignty and worldwide law".

The newest entrant in efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis is France.

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On a possible exclusion of Qatar from the six member states forming Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the UAE minister pointed out that "Although we may lose the confused and awkward neighbour. we gain clarity and transparency".

The defiant Doha government, however, strongly refused to comply, calling the wide-ranging demands "unrealistic, unreasonable and unacceptable". In return, the four countries vowed to impose further sanctions on Doha.

"A solution could come in the medium term", he said in a press conference, speaking alongside his Qatari counterpart, Mohamed Bin Abdul-Rahman Al Thani who is on an official visit to Turkey.

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Infantino also said the countries have threatened to boycott the tournament should their request not be acted upon.

Le Drian said that France was very concerned about the ongoing Gulf crisis since it has started to impact the lives of so many people.

The Qatari foreign minister, for his part, welcomed France's support for mediation in the row aimed at finding a solution "based on constructive dialogue. and respect of state sovereignty and worldwide law". The French foreign minister is to travel to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

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On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left Qatar with no breakthrough reported in resolving the month-long dispute.

France steps in to resolve Gulf crisis