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China ready to play constructive role in Qatar peace talks: Wang
July 21, 2017, 4:02 am

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Beijing, capital of China, July 20, 2017 [Xinhua]

China is a “sincere friend of Arab countries” and stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting peace talks if necessary, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told visiting Qatari foreign minister on Thursday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Beijing, calling on all parties to address their differences within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“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 said.

Calling the GCC “a mature regional organization which has successfully solved many disputes,” Wang expressed confidence that the Gulf countries have the capability to manage the current situation and address their differences within the GCC.

“Opposing all forms of terrorism is the common consensus of the international community. The Gulf countries can find a way to resolve the crisis through candid talks, on the basis of jointly fighting terrorism, mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs, and staying committed to their international obligations,” he said according to state news agency Xinhua.

“China appreciates and supports Kuwait’s mediation efforts,” Wang said, calling on the international community to help create conditions to resolve the crisis at a regional level.

Wang had met Wednesdsay with UAE Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.

Al Thani said that Qatar is willing to launch constructive talks with all sides on the basis of respecting sovereignty, non-interference in domestic affairs and complying with international law, so as to gradually establish mutual trust and address differences fundamentally.

The Qatari foreign minister commends China’s “objective position” on the crisis, saying that Qatar stands ready to maintain communication and coordination with China, and hoping that China will continue to play a positive role.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar on June 5, accusing it of financing extremist groups and allying with the Gulf Arab states’ arch-foe, Iran. Doha denies those accusations.

The four states and Qatar are all U.S. allies.

The four countries had 13 wide-ranging demands they had earlier submitted to Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas, as a condition for removing sanctions.

The demands include curbing Qatar’s relations with Iran, closing the Doha-based Al Jazeera TV channel, shutting a Turkish military base in Qatar and handing over all designated “terrorists” on its territory.

TBP and Agencies