Morocco's King Mohammed offers to mediate in ongoing Gulf diplomatic spat

Morocco's King Mohammed offers to mediate in ongoing Gulf diplomatic spat
The king of Morocco, who has previously remained neutral, has offered to intervene in the ongoing Gulf diplomatic row, in order to 'reduce tension'.
2 min read
12 June, 2017
The king of Morocco, right, with the emir of Qatar, left [AFP]

The king of Morocco has offered to mediate in the diplomatic disagreement between Qatar and other Arab League countries which have cut ties with Doha, reports suggest, the latest in regional efforts to reconcile between the neighbouring nations.

King Mohammed VI said on Sunday he wanted to help "reduce tension" due to his "strong personal ties" with the region's various leaders, a statement from the country's ministry of foreign affairs said.

"HM the King has thus called on all parties to show restraint and act wisely in order to reduce tension, to overcome this crisis and to finally address the causes which led to it."

"The Kingdom of Morocco hopes that this holy month of Ramadan will inspire everyone with the spirit of solidarity and concord that is necessary to overcome the current disagreements."

Kuwait has been the leading mediatory power in the recent diplomatic spat between Doha and its regional neighbours.

On Sunday, Qatar signalled through Kuwait that it was prepared to enter into negotiations on the "concerns" raised by Riyadh and its allies.

A number of Arab nations cut off diplomatic relations with Doha last week for its alleged support of "terrorism".

However, Qatari officials have refuted the allegations, claiming that it is an attempt to silence the Qatar-funded media outlets which are critical of the GCC's royal families.

"We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive. We are a platform for peace not terrorism... This dispute is threatening the stability of the entire region," said Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

Morocco is strongly allied with Saudi Arabia, as it is a prominent member of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Rabat appointed a new ambassador to Iran in October after seven years of diplomatic hiatus with Tehran, signifying that it was seeking to position itself between the two major Islamic powers.

Morocco has so far mainly kept out of the deepening diplomatic spat between Qatar and its regional neighbours, but the statement reports Rabat "maintained close and permanent contact" with all parties throughout.

Hakim Benchamach, chairman of Morocco's second parliamentary house, once criticised "the structural deficit" of Arab co-operation to find solutions to "terrorism, organised crime, migration and human trafficking".