Germany urges steps to defuse crisis in Gulf region

BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday urged all sides to avoid further escalating the crisis gripping the Gulf, warning that disagreements among Gulf states could weaken the US-led coalition's fight against Islamic State.
"We all - and that is also the view of my Saudi counterpart - are interested in avoiding any further escalation, because the region is already facing great tensions and challenges," Gabriel said after a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Gabriel told reoprters it was imperative that all members of the coalition fighting Islamic State banned any government or private financing of terrorist organisations.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on Monday said they would sever all ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Iran.
Asked about the policies of US President Donald Trump in the Middle East, Gabriel said Germany did not support a policy of "pure confrontation" against Iran.
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