Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

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

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

Le Drian, who has already met with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also said Paris "is very concerned by the sudden deterioration in relations between Qatar and many of its neighbors".

France has called for sanctions affecting Qatari nationals to be swiftly lifted to ease the rumbling row between the Gulf country and its neighbours. The Qatari government has denied the accusations, blasting the blockade as "unjustified" and a violation of global law.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain accused Qatar of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement that has been the greatest challenge to Arab autocrats.

People in the United States who represent and advise the Saudi government have also not yet responded to Reuters' request for confirmation or comment. In remarks to reporters Saturday evening, Le Drian said France seeks to play a supportive role to Kuwaiti-led mediation efforts to reduce tensions.

Despite the blockade by the four Arab countries, life has not been impacted significantly in Qatar.

Gulf State leaders

He concluded that France hopes to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in implementing Vision 2030.

Qatar's foreign minister says it would be unfair to describe U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's shuttle diplomacy to find a solution for the Persian Gulf as a failure, insisting that the crisis "cannot be solved in a day".

Tillerson had been flying between the two sides and Kuwait, which has been acting as the mediator between the feuding Gulf countries, in the last two days in an effort to ease a crisis that put the whole region on edge.

"As to the Muslim Brotherhood, we've had sticking points with these parties ourselves, the USA, in terms of how we view the Muslim Brotherhood's activities", Tillerson said.

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