UK welcomes Qatar's call for Gulf crisis talks

UK foreign secretary hails Qatar's call for talks and urges Saudi-led group to take steps towards lifting the embargo.

    Boris Johnson met Qatar's Emir earlier this month [Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images]
    Boris Johnson met Qatar's Emir earlier this month [Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images]

    Britain's government has praised the Qatari emir's willingness for dialogue to resolve the ongoing diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt

    "I welcome the Emir of Qatar's commitment to combat terrorism in all its manifestations, including terrorist financing," Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement on Sunday.

    "The Emir also pledged to resolve the remaining differences with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain through dialogue, negotiation, and Kuwaiti mediation. These steps will help to resolve the dispute," Johnson added.

    READ MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis - All the latest updates

    Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said in a televised address on Friday that his country is ready for dialogue to resolve the diplomatic dispute with the Saudi-led group, but stressed that any solution to the crisis must respect his country's sovereignty.

    Johnson said Britain hopes that "in turn, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain respond by taking steps towards lifting the embargo," and that "this will allow substantive discussions on remaining differences to begin."

    "The UK will continue to engage our partners in the region to help them reach a solution, including assisting Kuwait's important efforts in whatever way we can," Johnson added.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May had previously urged the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to take steps to reduce tensions in the region

    Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar last month, and imposed a sea and land blockade while accusing Doha of supporting "terrorism". Doha denies the accusation of "terrorism" and contends the blockade is a violation of international law.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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