Saudi-led blockade pushes Qatar towards Iran, says foreign minister

#GulfTensions

'Is that their objective, to push one country, a GCC member state, towards Iran? This is not a wise objective'

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar's foreign minister (AFP)
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Monday 25 September 2017 11:35 UTC
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A Saudi-led economic blockade on Qatar is pushing it closer to Iran economically, the Gulf state's foreign minister has said on Monday.

"They said Qatar was now closer to Iran. By their measures they are pushing Qatar to Iran," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in Paris. 

"They are giving Iran, or any regional force, Qatar like a gift."

"Is that their objective, to push one country, a GCC member state, towards Iran? This is not a wise objective," he added.

The foreign minister also stressed that Qatar still had political differences with Iran, including over Syria.

He added that Donald Trump was keen on ending the diplomatic crisis via dialogue.

He said he had seen from the US president a "greater desire" to fix the crisis and that Trump "doesn't want to see conflict among friends".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut political and trade ties with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of supporting terrorism and their arch-foe Iran - charges which Doha denies.