The situation on the Arabian Peninsula and the decision taken by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar were the focus of talks between Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al‑Jubeir on Wednesday (7 June).
Gabriel: Don’t let the situation escalate
The Gulf region faces huge challenges, what with the conflicts in Syria, the Middle East and Yemen, and the need to combat the IS terrorist militia. The region itself is moreover deeply split on matters of religion, world view and ethnicity as well as on geopolitical issues. Speaking about the actions to politically isolate the State of Qatar, Gabriel noted that a conflict had erupted with “astonishing vehemence” between the neighbours on the Arabian Peninsula.
“We in Germany and Europe have an interest in seeing that the situation in the Gulf region does not escalate further,” Foreign Minister Gabriel stressed after his talks with his Saudi counterpart al‑Jubeir. Gabriel also commented that a way of resuming dialogue had to be found, in everybody’s interest. Given the tense situation there, “a serious dispute among neighbours is actually the last thing the region needs,” Gabriel said before the meeting.
A strong and united Counter‑ISIS Coalition
Gabriel went on to say that the quarrel between partners would ultimately only strengthen the enemy. This applied in particular to the fight against IS, Gabriel continued. IS could only be defeated, he said, if the Counter‑ISIS Coalition held together and demonstrated unity in word, deed and political direction.
Germany to contribute to de‑escalation
Gabriel reported that intensive international mediation efforts were already under way to de‑escalate the situation, thanks for example to Kuwait. Gabriel stressed that there had been a huge loss of trust on all sides, and that trust must now be restored. Germany, too, would like to help achieve this. “Wherever we can do anything to help, we will do it,” Gabriel promised. Germany also supported all steps towards de‑escalation, he added.