Arts&Culture

French FM urges de-escalation in Gulf crisis

French FM urges de-escalation in Gulf crisis

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Eygpt and Yemen severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, claiming that the move was to protect their respective governments from extremism, which is allegedly supported by Qatar.

United States intelligence officials have just announced that, following information made available to them last week, the United Arab Emirates "hacked government websites in Qatar in late May", sparking the worst crisis in the Gulf in years, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Qatari media was immediately banned in several Arab states, despite an official hack announcement issued by Doha within an hour of the initial attack.

French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) embraces his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as they walk out of a press conference in the Qatari capital, Doha, July 15, 2017.

Saudi Arabia and its allies believe the U.S. has mostly sided with Qatar in the current crisis rather than backing them.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Qatar attended an worldwide meeting on countering Islamic State group financing on Friday.

Dr Al Kitbi said this media campaign is funded by Qatar and meant to divert the attention from its support and funding of terrorist and terrorism.

He pointed out that the global community has refused Qatar's support of terrorism and extremism, and hosting people wanted in this regard.

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"France is very concerned by the sudden deterioration in relations between Qatar and many of its neighbours", he said.

"The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article ..."

The long-brewing spat between Qatar and its neighbors, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, includes accusations that Doha has been cozying up to Tehran.

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said that the agreement signed by the US and Qatar on the financing of terrorism was a positive development but did not live up to their expectations. The Gulf Cooperation Council, in short, wants Qatar's rulers to stop undermining the cause of Arab royalty by henceforth adhering faithfully to the monarchial line as set forth by the Saudis.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday wrapped up a four-day mission to the Gulf with little sign of progress in resolving the diplomatic crisis pitting Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar.

President Trump has prioritized improving relations with Saudi Arabia but not with Qatar. The envoys pointed out that the four countries are securing the passage of worldwide airliners to and from Qatar.

But Ghandour dismissed these reports, saying Sudan is adhering to its reconciliatory stance on the Gulf crisis and calls for a solution through the Kuwaiti mediation.


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