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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Germany’s foreign minister urges GCC states to stand united

Sigmar Gabriel said the UAE are following a comprehensive approach to stop the financing of terrorism in the region

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Sigmar Gabriel spoke about the challenges the Middle East faces as they met in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Jon Gambrell / AP
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Sigmar Gabriel spoke about the challenges the Middle East faces as they met in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Jon Gambrell / AP

Cutting off financial support to terrorism must take centre stage if the region is to find peace and stability, the UAE and German foreign ministers said.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Sigmar Gabriel spoke about the challenges the Middle East faces as they met in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Mr Gabriel stressed that “the financing of terrorism must stop” and that the “United Arab Emirates are following a comprehensive approach” to tackle the threat.

The German delegation's regional tour comes as the boycott of Qatar continues and the country faces accusations that it funds terror groups across the region. It is expected to be expelled from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The diplomatic standoff in the gulf between Qatar and its Arab neighbours “presents the region with an opportunity to unite together against terrorism financing”, said Gabriel.

He said the GCC states remain a stabilising force in the region and called on to remain united.

“We have an opportunity to resolve this crisis and to fight the funding of extremism. The GCC to Europe is a guarantor for common stability and security in the region”.

Sheikh Abdullah said “we cannot be in an international community that wants to erase radical extremism without having a joint and collective action by all states”.

He stressed that in order to tackle terrorism “we must encounter this by ceasing their financial activity- it’s the only way to fully combat terrorism as a whole on the international level."

Along with the Qatar crisis, the statesmen also spoke about the continued conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Both support a “unified and undivided Iraq” whilst also highlighting efforts to stem the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Yemen.

On Monday, Mr Gabriel met with Saudi counterpart Adel Al Jubeir, and called for a serious dialogue “to resolve the political standoff as well as fighting the financing of terrorism”.

Speaking in Jeddah, Gabriel said that Saudi Arabia and Germany were in agreement about “stopping the financing of terrorism”.

Mr Al Jubeir said: “The aim of the measures taken against Qatar is to change its policies that harm it, the countries of the region and other nations of the world.”

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