French President Emmanuel Macron is urging Qatar and its rival neighbours to talk directly, to defuse their tensions over alleged terrorism financing, and said he will step up diplomatic discussions with Gulf leaders in the coming days.

Macron spoke after meeting with Moroccan King Mohammed VI, who is also trying to mediate the escalating Qatar standoff.

Speaking in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, Macron called for a “clarification of all the links and financing of terrorist groups, whatever it is and wherever it comes from.”

Saudi Arabia and other countries recently cut diplomatic ties and blocked travel to Qatar over allegations of Qatari sponsorship of Islamic extremists in the region. Qatar denies the allegations, but its ties to Iran and embrace of various Islamist groups have put the country under intense scrutiny.

Stressing the international importance of stability in the Middle East, Macron said it’s important “that the parties speak again” and find a way to “de-escalate” tensions that have mounted in recent days.

“The king of Morocco shares this concern,” Macron told reporters. Mohammed VI and Macron have spoken to key Gulf players in recent days and Macron said he will invite regional leaders to Paris for further discussions.

Source: Nam News Network