French President Emmanuel Macron has travelled to Morocco for a 24-hour visit for talks on battling terrorism as well as the Libyan conflict and Qatar’s dispute with its Gulf neighbours.
Ahead of Wednesday’s visit, the French presidency said Macron would discuss with Mohammed VI the dispute between Qatar and several countries, as both Paris and Rabat are keen on mediating a solution to the crisis.
“President Macron has spoken with all the heads of state of the region and called for appeasement. This efforts could converge with the mediation that Morocco wants to attempt,” it said.
A French diplomatic source said “the priority is to help resolve the crisis”.
The Elysee Palace said after Macron landed in Rabat that the French president would meet separately in Paris with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the crown prince of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The meetings are due to take place in the last week of June and are aimed at trying to defuse the Gulf dispute.
The UAE severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and other countries, accusing Doha of supporting “extremism”. Qatar vehemently denies their accusations.
The crisis is the worst to grip the Gulf in years.
The four Arab states have closed their airspace to Qatar that heavily relies on imports of food and water, among other products.
The measures have disrupted imports of food and other materials and caused some foreign banks to scale back business.
Doha has been cooperating with Iran and Turkey to secure food and water.