France seeks end to Saudi bloc measures that have split families

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 17, 2017

The Arab quartet accuse Qatar of disrupting regional security by supporting Islamist opposition groups and extremists.

"No country has the right to raise the issue of the Turkish base or the military cooperation between Qatar and Turkey as long as this cooperation respects worldwide law", Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told reporters in Ankara.

Qatar is the richest country in the world per-capita, and therefore the charitable works that have won the group support elsewhere in the Middle East have no traction in the small Gulf peninsula.

"Hundreds of Saudis, Bahrainis, and Emiratis have been forced into the impossible situation of either disregarding their countries' orders or leaving behind their families and job", said Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch.

As they met in Egypt last week, Saudi Arabia and its allies said they planned to tighten sanctions against the gas-rich emirate, after Qatar refused to comply with a list of demands.

Turkey now has 150 troops at the base, Hurriyet daily reported on Wednesday, up from 80 first sent after the parliament approved the deployment.

President Trump has been far more critical of Qatar, blasting the country for financing terrorism and even seeming to take credit for the Saudi-led blockade.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will arrive in Kuwait today, the key mediator between Qatar and its Arab neighbours, for talks aimed at defusing the Gulf's worst crisis in years.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

The Gulf crisis is the worst to hit the region since the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council in 1981.

France's foreign minister on Saturday called on Qatar's neighbors to immediately lift measures impacting thousands of people in the Gulf, becoming the latest foreign diplomat to visit the region and attempt to help find a resolution to a crisis that has dragged on for more than a month.

On June 5, the four countries cut diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Doha, denied Qatar access to their airspace and ordered Qatari citizens to leave.

Proof points and key messages on Qatar's funding and support of terrorism and extremism will be brought to the limelight at a seminar in Brussels.

The report quoted two Qatari bankers as saying that the diplomatic crisis was "the main reason for the deal being postponed, as it had reduced banks' appetite for the transaction".

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