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Germany criticizes move to isolate Qatar

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-09 07:30

Doha has held talks with Turkey, Iran to secure food and water supplies

BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticized the decision by several Arab countries to sever relations with Qatar and US President Donald Trump's involvement in the crisis, German media reported.

"Apparently, Qatar is to be isolated more or less completely and hit existentially," the DPA news agency reported on Wednesday, quoting an interview Gabriel did with the Handelsblatt daily.

"Such a 'Trumpification' of relations in a region already susceptible to crises is particularly dangerous," he said.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar on Monday. Yemen, Libya and the Maldives followed suit.

Qatar has been accused of supporting extremism and destabilizing the region, but it rejected such accusations as "unjustified" and "baseless".

Trump tweeted on Tuesday that "during my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

In a call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday, he offered to personally broker a resolution to resolve the crisis. "The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary," a White House statement said.

Gabriel met with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani on Tuesday and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Wednesday in Berlin, trying to find a solution to the diplomatic crisis.

But Jubeir said that Gulf states could resolve the row with Qatar among themselves without outside help.

"We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council," he said.

Jubeir declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the Doha-based news channel, but added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.

Efforts to defuse the worst crisis among Gulf Arab countries for two decades showed no immediate progress.

The UAE threatened anyone publishing expressions of sympathy toward Doha with up to 15 years in prison and barred entry to Qataris.

The sudden isolation has spurred Qatar to hold talks with Turkey, Iran and others to secure food and water supplies, a Qatari official said. He said there were enough grain supplies for four weeks and Qatar also had large strategic food reserves

Trump's defense secretary, James Mattis, spoke to his Qatari counterpart to express commitment to the Gulf region's security. Qatar hosts 8,000 US military personnel at al-Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East and a launchpad for US-led strikes on Islamic State extremists.

Xinhua - Reuters - Ap

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