WORLD

France appoints envoy to mediate in Gulf crisis

FRANCE APPOINTS ENVOY TO MEDIATE IN GULF CRISIS

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.

Besancenot will "evaluate the situation and the best ways to support mediation and appease tensions between Qatar and its neighbors," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne told reporters in a daily briefing on Tuesday.

In early June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain collectively severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in the region.

Doha denied the allegations, describing attempts to diplomatically isolate it as a violation of international law and its national sovereignty.

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