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Wednesday October 18th 2017

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Sheikh Tamim: Qatar ready to solve GCC crisis

The Qatari emir says he is ready to sit at a negotiating table to solve the three-month-long regional crisis.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is on his first foreign trip since Qatar’s diplomatic rift with its Arab neighbours.

“As you know we have had a siege of more than 100 days against Qatar,” Sheikh Tamim said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday.

“We spoke about Qatar’s readiness to sit at the table to solve this issue.”

Merkel’s government has announced efforts to mediate in the crisis, which saw Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severing diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June.

READ MORE: Qatar presses UN to take action against blockade

The Arab states accuse Qatar of backing “terrorism”, an allegation Qatar denies.

Germany has been supporting diplomatic efforts to try and defuse the crisis, with Merkel inviting all sides to sit at the table.

She said she was concerned that there was still no solution to the crisis, adding she supported efforts by Kuwait and the US to mediate an end to the dispute.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, has said the country’s intelligence service would play a role in clearing up accusations that Qatar supports “terrorist” groups.

Sheikh Tamim was expected to fly out to Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron later on Friday.
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