05 Sep 2017 - 8:43
France appoints envoy to mediate in Gulf crisis
05 Sep 2017 - 17:27
By Hajer M'tiri / AA
PARIS: France has appointed a former ambassador to both Qatar and Saudi Arabia as a special envoy to mediate in the ongoing diplomatic crisis pitting Doha against a Saudi-led bloc of Arab states.
Bertrand Besancenot, 65, was assigned to Doha in the 1980s before becoming ambassador to Qatar in 1996. He first served as France’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2007 until September last year.
"I confirm that Bertrand Besancenot, diplomatic advisor to the government, will soon go to the region to evaluate the situation and the best ways to support the mediation and appease tensions between Qatar and its neighbours," Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne told reporters in a daily briefing.
Kuwait's Emir H H Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber has led mediation efforts to resolve the row, which began in early June when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut political and trade ties with Qatar.