German FM warns Qatar crisis could lead to war
Germany's foreign minister has warned the dispute between Qatar and other Arab countries could lead to war in the Gulf.
Sigmar Gabriel made the comments to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Saturday.
"There is a danger that this dispute could lead to war," Gabriel said, adding that there was still a chance to end the "dramatic" harshness against Qatar by neighbouring countries.
He said recent talks with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, as well as phone calls with the foreign ministers of Iran and Kuwait had proven his worries.
"After my talks this week, I know how serious the situation is, but I believe there are also good chances to make progress."
On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Maldives severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of backing terrorism, and imposed punitive measures.
The Arab countries closed air, sea and land links with Qatar, barred the emirate's planes from their airspace and ordered Qatari citizens out within 14 days.
Qatar has denounced the allegations and received backing from its close ally Turkey, whose parliament approved the deployment of troops to defend the emirate.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said he has never known Qatar to support "terror" organisations and vowed to "continue to give all kinds of support" to Doha.
Despite Kuwaiti efforts to mediate, the crisis appeared to escalate on Friday as Saudi Arabia released a joint statement listing 59 Qatari entities and individuals, including members of the royal family, as involved in "terrorist" activities.
Russia called on Saturday for dialogue to resolve the dispute, as Riyadh and its allies welcomed US President Donald Trump's demand that Doha stop funding extremist groups.
Moscow's appeal came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson encouraged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their land and sea "blockade" of gas-rich Qatar.
Rights group Amnesty International has warned of "heartbreak and fear" suffered by ordinary people caught in the diplomatic crossfire.