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France Appoints Envoy to Mediate in Qatari Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot (Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic)

Paris- France appointed Bertrand Besancenot, diplomatic adviser to the government, as a special envoy to see how Paris could support mediation efforts in the rift between Qatar and several of its neighbors, a step that reflects France’s wish to be supportive of the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve this crisis.

Diplomatic sources stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that assigning ambassador Bertrand Besancenot is an initiative launched by France President Emanuel Macron who is in constant contact with the region’s leaders.

Macron expressed several times his country’s wish to contribute in finding possible outcomes to reduce the tension and return to normal ties – this message was delivered by France’s Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian during his tours in the region.

Sources added that naming Besancenot for this mission attributes to his thorough knowledge of the region where he was France’s ambassador to Doha for several years and to Riyadh for nine years. Between these two periods, he was a diplomatic adviser for five years to foreign Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

Besancenot has built personal relations in Riyadh and Doha along with a thorough knowledge in the Gulf’s interior – this would assist him to deal with the current crisis as a friend who is capable of holding talks with all parties out of keenness to achieve reconciliation and preservation of joint Gulf interest.

France refuses to talk about a French mediation, affirming that there is only one official mediation: the Kuwaiti.

The ambassador is willing to carry out a visit to the region, soon, after the UN General Assembly concludes its monthly affairs since Gulf officials will be in New York for annual meetings.