France: Lift sanctions targeting Qatari nationals

Courtney Goldsmith
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French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Doha today (Source: Getty)

France has called for sanctions affecting Qatari nationals to be swiftly lifted to ease the rumbling row between the Gulf country and its neighbours.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar at the beginning of June after accusing it of financing extremist groups.

Doha has denied the accusations.

Read more: Moody's changes Qatar's rating outlook to negative

"France calls for the lifting, as soon as possible, of the measures that affect the populations in particular, bi-national families that have been separated or students," Reuters reported French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Le Drian spoke alongside his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in Doha today.

The visit comes after US secretary of state Rex Tillerson worked to help solve the row earlier this week, as well as visits from British and German officials.

The four Arab states reiterated their sanctions will remain in place after Tillerson and al-Thani signed an agreement this week to combat financing terrorism.

Visiting London earlier this month, al-Thani said alleged the sanctions were imposed because countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt were trying to turn western countries against the tiny gas-rich state to suit their own political agenda.

Qatar is the world's biggest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Read more: Qatar refuses to entertain Saudi-led demands

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