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Statement by Foreign Minister Gabriel on the conflict in the Arabian Peninsula

07.06.2017 - Press release

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement on the conflict in the Arabian Peninsula to the “Handelsblatt” newspaper:

We are surprised by the vehemence with which the conflict between neighbouring countries has broken out in the Arabian Peninsula.

I am very concerned about the dramatic escalation of the situation and the consequences for the entire region.

The aim is apparently to go far beyond the political and diplomatic level, such as recalling ambassadors or breaking off diplomatic relations, and to isolate Qatar more or less completely and hit its source of livelihood.

This sort of Trumpification in relations is particularly dangerous in a region that is already crisis-ridden.

No one stands to benefit from a further escalation.

The Middle East is a political and military powder keg. Religious, ethnic, political and ideological conflicts are now also dividing the Gulf monarchies.

Through the nuclear agreement with Iran, we banished the danger of a nuclear arms race in the region for the foreseeable future. US President Trump’s latest gigantic arms deals with the Gulf monarchies increase the risk of a new arms race. That policy is completely wrong, and it is certainly not Germany’s policy.

We trust that it will soon be possible to speak with one another again and to de-escalate conflicts through talks.

The Middle East faces enormous challenges – the fight against IS, the terrible war in Syria, the foreseeable impact of climate change and demographic developments are only some of these challenges. A serious dispute among neighbours is actually the last thing the region needs.

The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister is in Berlin today. I am sure that we will find out more about Saudi Arabia’s reasons for its exceptionally tough stance.

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