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French president urges leaders to defuse crisis

France's President Emmanuel Macron, center left, and his wife Brigitte, center right, greet at President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales, right, and his wife Patricia, left, at the Elysee Palace, after a meeting, in Paris on Thursday. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar to engage in dialogue and defuse the crisis which has pitted Doha against its Gulf neighbors.
Macron spoke separately with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Saudi King Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and “invited all parties to pursue dialogue,” Macron’s office said.
Macron assured the Gulf leaders he spoke with of “his wish to maintain stability in the region” and to keep up the fight “against terrorism and the financing of all terrorist movements.”
The French president had already talked with the Qatari emir as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
A presidency spokesman said Macron would continue his mediation in coming days.
During his discussion with Iranian leader Rouhani, Macron offered his condolences to the families of the 13 people killed by gunmen and suicide bombers in Tehran.
Meanwhile, Bijan Zanganeh, Iran’s oil minister, said on Wednesday Qatar’s regional isolation will not affect Tehran’s plans to develop its vast South Pars offshore gas field that it shares with the Arab Gulf country, state TV reported.
“We will continue our work as planned. There is no problem,” he said.

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