Embattled Qatari emir claims he is ready for talks
Amid increasing pressure on Doha, the Qatari emir met French president Emmanuel Macron to discuss his country’s diplomatic row with other Arab countries.
Sheikh Tamim is on a charm offensive to try to push back against his country’s isolation, with Paris being the third stop of his first foreign tour since the crisis erupted.
The meeting at the Elysee Palace on Friday came hours after Sheikh Tamim said alongside German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin that Doha was ready to negotiate an end to the crisis.
“Qatar is prepared to take a seat at the table to solve this problem,” he said, adding that it had been more than 100 days since the Arab sanctions against his country began.
“We still support [Kuwaiti emir] Sheikh Sabah’s mediation attempt and we will continue to do so until we find a solution that satisfies all parties,” he added, referring to the Kuwaiti emir.
Sheikh Tamim left the Elysee Palace without making a comment.
The first stop on his tour was Turkey, where on Thursday he met president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the crisis which has seen Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Doha over its support of extremist groups.
He is also expected to meet Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday ahead of the American president’s first address to the UN general assembly.
Mr Trump said last week during a meeting with Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah that he would be willing to mediate the worst diplomatic dispute in the GCC’s history.
Mr Macron on Friday urged and end to the crisis.
The quartet says it is willing to lift the embargo if Qatar agrees to negotiate and stop interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours.
Mrs Merkel said on Friday that she hoped dialogue could lead to “fair compromises”.
“It’s cause for great concern that after 100 days a solution to this conflict is still not in sight,” she said.
Paris and Berlin back diplomatic efforts led by Kuwait, a key mediator in the crisis along with the US.
After Sheikh Tamim’s meeting with Mr Erdogan in Ankara, the two leaders “stressed the need for a resolution through diplomatic means”, the Turkish president’s office said.
Turkey has been a major supporter of Qatar since the sanctions came into force on June 5.
It’s cause for great concern that after 100 days a solution to this conflict is still not in sight ANGELA MERKEL German chancellor