France urges Saudi-led bloc to lift sanctions on Qatari citizens

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 19, 2017

The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Monday will head to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the start of an Arab Gulf tour that will also take him to Saudi Arabia, said the official news agency SUNA.

Officials became aware last week that newly analysed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation.

The French foreign minister has supported Kuwait as a mediator in the Gulf crisis, which he said should be resolved "by the Gulf countries themselves".

Speaking during a trip to London, Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash said the four-nation, Saudi Arabia-led bloc isolating Qatar needed a clear signal that the emirate was willing to re-examine its position on extremism and terrorism. "The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article", he said, before reiterating his country's complaints about Qatar's maverick foreign policy.

While much of what Qatar's critics charge is true, you also have to consider the source.

He pointed out that the global community has refused Qatar's support of terrorism and extremism, and hosting people wanted in this regard. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation and undermining the stability of its neighbours". Emails from the account were circulated to the media by an organization called GlobalLeaks. But the Trump administration shares most Arab governments' fixations with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, so after Trump's visit, they likely assumed their offensive against Qatar would be well-received. A couple weeks later, those countries, along with Egypt and Bahrain, imposed a blockade on Qatar, issuing it a list of demands, including cutting its ties with Iran and Hezbollah, closing down a Turkish military base on its territory, and shuttering al-Jazeera.

To further pressure Qatar, Saudi Arabia has totally closed its land border with its tiny neighbor, through which much of Qatar's food supply crossed. Qatar strongly denies the allegations.

Le Drian stressed that the crisis must be solved by the Gulf countries themselves, pointing out that France does not want to substitute anyone as it just wants to add its efforts to other countries efforts and support the Kuwaiti mediation.

At no time in the situation has the bloc offered any evidence in support of its allegations, prompting speculation, even by the United States, that its motivations for the blockade might be fueled by pre-existing issues, rather than a concern for global security.

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