French Foreign Minister calls for swift lifting of sanctions against Qatar
Almost a month and a half after the start of the illegal blockade of Qatar by its Gulf neighbours, France has stepped in to call for a swift end to the crisis.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was in Doha yesterday, called for a swift lifting of sanctions that target Qatari nationals in an effort to ease the rift between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc of nations, reported Al Jazeera.
Le Drian said France was ‘very concerned by the sudden deterioration’ of the situation in the region.
“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 said, after he met his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Ever since the start of the blockade on June 5, almost 13,000 people in the GCC region have been affected. The same has been the case with students in these countries, with hundreds of them being unable to sit for exams or complete their courses.
Le Drian also met HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, following the steps of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in the Gulf this week to help to find a solution the regional impasse.
“France 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. We call for dialogue and calm between the Arab states,” Le Drian said.
Qatar’s foreign minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that actions taken by Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar are disrupting the regional effort to combat terrorism.
“Combating terrorism also cannot be through practising political and intellectual terrorism against a state,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
On June 22, the Saudi-led group had issued a 13-point list of demands, which Qatar rejected by saying as baseless and unacceptable.
However, the countries seem to be having a rethink about one of their key demands, the shutting down of Al Jazeera channel.