French FM in Saudi Arabia over Qatar crisis
Riyadh, July 16 (IANS) French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Saudi Arabia to help address the ongoing Qatar diplomatic crisis.
“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 and students,” Le Drian said at a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir on Sunday.
Le Drian urged the four countries that severed diplomatic ties with Qatar — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt — to resolve the ongoing crisis through dialogues.
After his visit to Riyadh, Le Drian will go to Kuwait and the UAE to attempt mediation.
Al-Jubeir claimed he could provide evidence that Qatar violated the 2013 Riyadh Agreement and the 2014 Riyadh Supplementary Agreement, both of which aim to enhance cooperation between Gulf nations and avoid interference in each other’s internal affairs.
He also stressed that Qatar must implement relevant anti-terrorism agreements.
The four Arab countries cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “extremism and terrorism”, an allegation which Qatar has denied.
On June 23, the four Arab states issued a list of 13 demands to end the rift with Doha, including closing of the Al-Jazeera television and cutting diplomatic ties with Iran.
Since Qatar’s response seemed unsatisfactory to them, the four have decided to maintain their sanctions.