Jeddah – Any resolution of the Gulf crisis should come from within the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, stressed Saudi Arabia and France, adding that everyone should be fully committed against terrorism, those who support and fund it, and spread extremist ideologies.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir stressed that Riyadh has basic principles for relations that must be committed to by all countries, including Qatar.
“The first is not supporting or financing terrorism. The second is to refrain from supporting extremism, inciting and spreading hatred through the media in any form. Also, countries must abstain from hosting terrorist people, those involved in terrorist financing or those wanted by their countries. And finally, refrain from interfering in the affairs of regional countries,” stated the FM.
Speaking during a joint press conference in Jeddah with French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, Jubeir said Saudi Arabia would present Paris with a comprehensive dossier of the negative acts committed by Qatar over the years, adding that a similar file was given to US State of Secretary Rex Tillerson.
Le Drian arrived at Saudi Arabia as part of his Gulf tour aimed at helping defuse the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
Jubeir expressed the Kingdom’s appreciation for the French position throughout history regarding region’s issues, whether the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Yemen crisis, cooperation regarding Syria and Iraq and other issues.
The two officials also tackled the current situation in the region, developments in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and the situation in Syria and Iraq.
Jubeir praised the efforts exerted by Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to purge the city of Mosul from ISIS terrorists.
“We expressed our support for these efforts and our hope that Iraq can eliminate the entire ISIS terrorist organization from Iraq,” he stated.
On the Qatar crisis, he said that Riyadh hopes it could still be resolved “within the Gulf house”.
Le Drian echoed this stance, reiterating Paris’s support for the Kuwaiti mediation.
He expressed his country’s concern by the sudden deterioration in relations between Qatar and many of its neighbors.
“France does not want to substitute the mediator… It wants to be a facilitator by joining efforts of other countries,” he stressed, adding that Tillerson’s initiative is also “suitable”.
Furthermore, Le Drian hailed Saudi Arabia’s role in halting terrorism and extremist ideology, hoping that the kingdom will implement Vision 2030.
The French FM met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and decided to re-launch cooperation through the joint French-Saudi Cooperation Committee.
He added that “in this regard, we decided before the end of 2017 to hold a meeting of the Joint Bilateral Committee,” pointing out that this committee was previously formed but not active.
Le Drian said that the two countries want to review within this committee the various programs and the outcome of the findings of the topics, including fields of defense, energy, culture, infrastructure and education. Annual meetings will also be held once in Paris and once in Riyadh.
Earlier on Saturday, Le Drian arrived at Qatar where he met with Qatari Emir Tamim Al Thani and stated that Paris wants to assist the Kuwait-led mediation on the crisis between Qatar and four other Arab states.
“France should be a facilitator in the mediation” led by Kuwait, Le Drian told reporters after talks with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
He added that France is talking to all of these countries to help search for a solution, calling for “dialogue and calm” between the Arab states concerned.
After Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Le Drian will to Kuwait and the UAE.