By Jeremias Kettner
June 13, 2017
Within a week of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other governments of Arab/African countries severing/downgrading relations with Qatar, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that “this dispute could lead to war”, referring to the Sunni governments’ “dramatic” harshness regarding Doha. Germany’s top diplomat stated that he had conferred with officials in Qatar, as well as in Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, with the aim of defusing the beleaguered Middle East’s latest crisis. After Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani traveled to Germany to meet with him on June 9, Gabriel called for “solutions, especially lifting the sea and air blockades.” The Foreign Minister’s defense of Qatar during the ongoing Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) diplomatic crisis speaks volumes about the European country’s relations with the Arab Gulf emirate, a rapport long ignored by foreign policy analysts.
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Jeremias Kettner is an analyst at Gulf State Analytics with a background in business and government relations across Europe and the Middle East.