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Moscow ready to assist Qatar in crisis settlement — Lavrov

July 24, 20:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and said they were severing diplomatic relations with that country

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MOSCOW, July 24. /TASS/. Russia is ready to assist in the settlement of a crisis around Qatar if the mediators deem it necessary, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Kurdish Rudaw television on Monday.

"We are interested in having this crisis settled on the basis of taking into account mutual concerns, search for such solutions that will be acceptable for all participants in this process," the foreign minister said. "We support mediatory efforts taken by Kuwaiti Amir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah. If all parties decide that Russia can also do something useful within the framework of these efforts or in addition to them, we will be ready to respond to such appeals," Lavrov said.

He said Russia "contacts with practically all participants in this conflict". The senior diplomat also noted that Russia is aware of "the efforts taken by other countries interested in normalization of the situation in the Persian Gulf area".

"US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been to the region with a rather active mission," he went on. "As far as I understand, France and the UK would also be ready to assist. We will support everything that leads to averting the situation when this major region of the world will be turned into the zone of a never-ending crisis," he said.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and interfering into their domestic affairs and said they were severing diplomatic relations with that country. Economic sanctions and a transport blockade of the emirate followed suit.

The Qatari authorities called the Arab partners' moves highly regrettable and totally groundless.

On June 22, four Arab states advanced 13 demands to Qatar for restoring relations and gave it a 10-day deadline to comply with them.

Qatar’s government said that the demands were unacceptable as they had nothing to do with the fight against terrorism but aimed to limit the country’s sovereignty.

On July 5, the deadline expired, but Doha’s response handed via Kuwait was met with regret by the boycotting nations. They vowed to continue their political and economic pressure on Qatar until it changes its policy.

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