Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Paris Backs Kuwaiti Mediation to Resolve Qatar Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French President Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Paris- French President Emmanuel Macron seems interested in playing an active political and diplomatic role in the international scene, including the Middle East and the Arab world, a month after reaching the Elysee palace.

According to high-ranking diplomats, Macron wants France to have its say in the Syrian conflict, the war on terrorism, the crisis in the Gulf and the Libyan file.

Regarding the war in Syria, Macron wants his country to launch a new political and diplomatic initiative that is in the making. As for the war on terror, Paris is closely involved in the Raqqa battle as it sees that French or former resident “extremists” are there and the mission of French special forces is to prevent them from returning to France and carrying out terrorist attacks.

On the Libyan file, Macron has assigned French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to communicate with influential regional parties who could affect warring sides in Libya. So the minister recently visited Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria.

The French FM also contacted involved Gulf parties and is expected to visit Moscow on June 20.

The Gulf file remains the most delicate and it has a different nature. Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Macron is dedicated to containing the Qatari crisis.

France abstained from saying that it is carrying out a mediation between Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt from one side and Qatar from the other, but it stressed that it backs the Kuwaiti mediation based on the principle that “the Gulf is capable of resolving its issues.”

Paris believes that the Middle East has its shares of wars and crises and doesn’t need a new crisis. It also believes in containing conflicts, maintaining stability and consolidating the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a move that is highly important for the war on terrorism.