Sigmar Gabriel: Gulf crisis could lead to war

Sigmar Gabriel sounds a grim warning after talking to his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

German Foreign Minister Gabriel speaks during a news conference in Ankara
Gabriel says personal talks with ministers have underscored his concerns [Reuters]

The dispute between Qatar and other Arab states could lead to war, Sigmar Gabriel, German foreign minister, has told a newspaper.

However, he says he still saw a chance to defuse the tension.

“There is a danger that this dispute could lead to war,” Gabriel told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Saturday.

He cited what he called a “dramatic” harshness in relations between allied and neighbouring countries in the Gulf.

Gabriel said personal talks this week with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and phone calls with the foreign ministers of Iran and Kuwait underscored his concerns.

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

“After my talks this week, I know how serious the situation is, but I believe there are also good chances to make progress.”

Also on Saturday, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, called for dialogue to resolve the dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.

“We cannot be happy in a situation when the relations between our partners are worsening,” Lavrov said.

“We are in favour of resolving any disagreements through … dialogue.”

Russia is “ready to try to do everything in its power” to help resolve the crisis, he said.

Source: Reuters