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Macron urges lifting of embargo against Qatar

French president calls for removal of sanctions 'affecting the people of Qatar, in particular families and students'.

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the lifting of a Saudi-led embargo on Qatar in effect since June.

Macron is calling for "the embargo measures affecting the people of Qatar, in particular families and students, to be lifted as quickly as possible," the president's office said in a statement on Friday after he met Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Macron "expressed his concern over the tensions that threaten regional stability, undermining the political resolution of crises and our collective fight against terrorism," the statement said.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, accusing Doha of supporting "extremism", cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5. The govenrment in Doha strongly denies the accusation.

Saudi Arabia and its supporters severed air and sea links with Qatar and Riyadh closed Qatar's only land border.

The Qatari emir met earlier on Friday in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the crisis would be resolved only through quiet diplomacy.

"We spoke about the need for all the parties to sit at one table again as soon as possible," she said at a joint news conference with Sheikh Al-Thani.

Both Paris and Berlin back diplomatic efforts led by Kuwait, a key mediator in the crisis along with the United States.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump's office announced that he will hold a series of meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting next week in New York, including one with Sheikh Al-Thani. 

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