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French president arrives in Qatar amid months-long dispute

Europe
07.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Cairo (dpa) - French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday to discuss a months-long dispute among Gulf nations and ways to combat terrorism.

He visited the al-Udaid air base before starting a meeting with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar‘s al-Raya newspaper reported.

Both France and the United States have soldiers based at al-Udaid, which Macron said is a vital base for the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Macron‘s visit to Doha comes a few days after a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Kuwait, where several leaders skipped the meeting amid a dispute between member state Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc.

In June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and regional ally Egypt severed diplomatic, trade and transportation links with Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorists, a charge Doha has denied.

The anti-Qatar alliance has demanded that Doha downgrade ties with Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia. Qatar has rejected the demand, calling it an "infringement of its sovereignty."

The row is one of the most serious experienced by the GCC since it was created in 1981.

 

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