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France, Saudi Arabia pledge to combat terrorism

16 July 2017, 01:37 | Taylor George

France, Saudi Arabia pledge to combat terrorism

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash speaks during a press conference at his office in Dubai

The six Arab countries who last month cut ties with Qatar are reported to have written to world soccer's governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association to demand it be stripped of hosting the 2022 World Cup because they consider the Gulf state to be a "base of terrorism".

France called on Saturday for a swift lifting of sanctions that target Qatari nationals in an effort to ease a month-long rift between the Gulf country and several of its neighbours. Doha refused to comply with the demands.

Later in June, the four Arab countries urged Qatar to abide by a 13-point list of demands if it wanted the crippling blockade lifted.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who will be visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Bahrain tomorrow, has expressed the need for resolution to end the Gulf crisis.

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The top French diplomat also said his respective country "should be a facilitator in the mediation" led by Kuwait, a key mediator in the crisis.

Le Drian said France counted on "reinforcing cooperation with Qatar in the fight against terrorism, particularly in combatting terrorism financing".

"France is talking to all these countries to help in the search for a solution", he said, calling for "dialogue and calm" between the Arab states concerned. U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with his counterpart and the emir, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came twice as part of a shuttle diplomacy that included meetings in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in an effort to resolve the crisis.

"Combatting terrorism also can not be through practising political and intellectual terrorism against a state", Sheikh Mohammed said, in reference to measures taken against Doha by its neighbours. The French foreign minister is to travel to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.



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