China’s foreign minister has called on Qatar and four Arab nations to resolve their diplomatic crisis through talks within the Gulf Cooperation Council, state media reported today. Wang Yi made the remarks after meeting with his Qatari counterpart in Beijing on Thursday, a day after he held talks with a top official from the United Arab Emirates, one of the nations at odds with Doha.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the country of ties with Iran and of funding Islamist extremist groups. Doha denies the claims. “All sides should continue restraint and conduct face- to-face talks as soon as possible, so as to avoid escalation of the situation, send out a positive signal in addressing the crisis through political and diplomatic means, and reassure the role of the GCC,” Wang was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Wang said China supports Kuwait’s mediation in the dispute and stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting peace through talks if necessary. Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said his country is willing to launch constructive talks on the basis of respecting sovereignty, non-interference in domestic affairs and complying with international law, according to Xinhua.
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Wang met with UAE minister of state Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber on Wednesday and called for the crisis to be resolved through diplomatic means, Xinhua had reported this week. The UAE and the three other Arab nations have imposed a slew of sanctions on Qatar, including the closure of its only land border. The Gulf crisis is the worst to hit the region since the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council in 1981.