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Emir: Qatar ready to talk to end Gulf crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (L) hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Berlin, Germany on 15 September 2017 [Erbil Başay/Anadolu Agency]

Qatar is ready to sit at the negotiating table to try to end a dispute with its Gulf Arab neighbours, Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani said in Berlin today.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of financing terrorism and cozying up to their arch-rival Iran. Doha denies the charges.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman spoke by phone with Sheikh Tamim a week ago in what looked like a breakthrough. But Riyadh promptly suspended any dialogue with Doha, accusing it of “distorting facts” in its news agency’s report of the interaction.

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“As you know we have had a siege of more than 100 days against Qatar,” Sheikh Tamim told a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. “We spoke about Qatar’s readiness to sit at the table to solve this issue.”

For her part, Merkel said she was concerned that there was still no solution to the crisis, adding she supported efforts by Kuwait and the United States to mediate an end to the dispute.

Sheikh Tamim also said he retained confidence in German firms and will hold on to stakes in Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen.

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