French FM visits Qatar, calls for end to tensions and boycott

Anwar Gargash

Anwar Gargash

The counter Doha quartet issued a rundown of 13 demands that included closing down Qatar's Al Jazeera Media Network; separate every asserted tie with the Muslim Brotherhood and with different groups, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIL (otherwise called ISIS), limiting Qatar's ties with Iran and ousting Turkish troops positioned in the country.

"No country has the right to raise the issue of the Turkish base or the military cooperation between Qatar and Turkey as long as this cooperation respects global law", Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told reporters in Ankara.

Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al-Baker accused neighbouring Gulf states of "bullying" his country but said it could ride out the crisis.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, during a joint press conference held in Jeddah with the French foreign minister, Jubeir said that he hoped that the crisis would be resolved within the Gulf countries, and for Qatar to have the wisdom to respond to the demands of the worldwide community, not just the four countries.

Turkey now has 150 troops at the base, Hurriyet daily reported on Wednesday, up from 80 first sent after the parliament approved the deployment. The United States was even ready to step up as an alternative host, should Qatar be stripped because of the desert state's harsh climate.

The countries say a pact the Gulf nation signed with the U.S. last week to disable the flow of money to terrorist groups isn't enough to end the rift, and insisted their demands that Qatar change its policies be met in full.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in Doha on Saturday that Paris wants to assist Kuwait-led mediation on the crisis between Qatar and four other Arab states.

The Trump administration is once again sending mixed messages on Qatar and the crisis among U.S. Gulf allies.

Tillerson met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for the second time in 48 hours, together with a Kuwaiti mediator, on the final leg of his trip.

The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Monday will head to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the start of an Arab Gulf tour that will also take him to Saudi Arabia, said the official news agency SUNA.

"Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino has said", he does not believe that the diplomatic crisis which has embroiled 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar will threaten its staging of the tournament.

Last week, hours before Mr Tillerson's arrival in Kuwait, documents were leaked showing a confidential GCC agreement which the boycotting nations accuse Qatar of breaching.

Still, the four Arab powers have said the memorandum fell short of allaying their concerns, that their sanctions would remain in place until Doha meets their demands and that they would keep a close eye on Qatar's efforts to fight terrorism funding.