Em­bat­tled Qatari emir claims he is ready for talks

The National - News - - NEWS | UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY -

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

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