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France Mediates In Qatari Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French President Emmanuel Macron PHOTO: AFP

London, Ankara, Paris- While diplomatic efforts to contain the Qatari crisis with Gulf countries and Egypt continued on Wednesday, Paris announced that French President Emmanuel Macron would meet separately in Paris this month with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in an attempt to mediate in the ongoing crisis.

Meanwhile, the US State Department said it was optimistic about resolving the crisis, asserting that progress was made in this regard.

“I would characterize the mood and approach as hopeful, which believes that the worst is behind us,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks in both Qatar and Kuwait as part of his country’s attempts to mediate in the crisis.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s said it worked on lowering the long-term rating on Qatar National Bank (QNB) to ‘A’ from ‘A+’ and put all its ratings on QNB, The Commercial Bank, Doha Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank on CreditWatch negative.

The agency said that currently, it sees numerous uncertainties regarding Qatar’s response to the group of government’s measures, the extent of these measures, and how long they will stay in place.

It said the four banks it rated in Qatar, collectively accounted for around 85% of the banking system’s assets at year-end 2016.

S&P added that the geographic breakdown of liabilities shows that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) represented around 8% (QAR75 billion or $20.6 billion) of the total.

“While we understand that this figure includes funds from countries (Kuwait and Oman) that haven’t placed Qatar under sanctions, we take the view that these funds may theoretically also be withdrawn because of the recent events,” S&P wrote in its report on “How Recent Developments In Qatar Affect The Banking System.”