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French FM calls for crisis de-escalation

French FM calls for  crisis de-escalation


AFP
Abu Dhabi
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called on Sunday for a"de-escalation" in the row between Qatar and four Arab countries, as he held talks in the UAE and Kuwait, a mediator in the crisis.
"It would be preferable if the parties could engage in a process of de-escalation, one that is indispensable so that negotiations can take place in a constructive atmosphere," Le Drian said.
Abu Dhabi was the last step in a tour of four Gulf nations that began on Saturday and also took Le Drian to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Earlier on Sunday, the French foreign minister held talks in Kuwait City with senior officials in a bid to bolster Kuwait's attempts to mediate in the Gulf crisis.
Le Drian met with Kuwait's Emir HH Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, and Kuwait's foreign minister, state news agency KUNA said, for talks.
The French foreign minister has supported Kuwait as a mediator in the crisis, which he said should be resolved"by the Gulf countries themselves".
"France does not want to substitute the mediator," Le Drian said in Saudi Arabia on Saturday."It wants to be a facilitator by joining efforts of other countries."
Le Drian's visit comes after a four-day mediation mission by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended on Thursday with no announcement of progress towards defusing mounting tensions in the Gulf.

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