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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Germany denies Qatari reports of interview with minister

Reports claimed that the minister of defence sympathised with Qatar

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel (L) greets German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen (R) as she arrives for a working dinner at The Parc du Cinquantenaire — Jubelpark Park in Brussels on July 11, 2018, during the Nato summit. AFP
Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel (L) greets German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen (R) as she arrives for a working dinner at The Parc du Cinquantenaire — Jubelpark Park in Brussels on July 11, 2018, during the Nato summit. AFP

Germany denied on Monday reports that its minister of defence said on the sidelines of the Nato summit in Brussels that she sympathised with Doha.

The German embassy in Riyadh tweeted: "German Ministry of Defence denies reports of Qatari media on alleged statements of Minister Ursula von der Leyen on margins of Nato summit in Brussels."

Qatari media carried statements attributed to Ursula von der Leyen thanking Doha for “its participation and stance with EU countries and Nato members”.

Reports claimed that the minister sympathised with Qatar, which has been boycotted by its neighbours for supporting extremists and interfering in other countries’ affairs.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Doha on June 5 last year.

The four Arab countries stand firm by their decision to boycott Qatar, saying they are willing to re-establish communications with Doha only if it adheres to regional and international agreements and the demands and principles they have issued.

Doha has so far refused to meet the quartet’s 13 demands — including the closure of Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news channel, which the quartet says provides a platform for extremists and dissidents.