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Qatar calls to resolve Gulf rift with 'dignity'

© AFP | Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is pictured during his meeting with the French president in the Qatari capital Doha on December 7, 2017

DOHA (AFP) - 

Qatar's emir called Thursday for a negotiated settlement to a damaging dispute with other Gulf states, but insisted any solution should not come at the expense of "our sovereignty and dignity."

"Qatar's sovereignty is above all considerations. We want to resolve the rift but not at the expense of our sovereignty and dignity," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said at a joint press conference with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.

"If the brothers want to resolve the dispute, we are ready," Sheikh Tamim said. "Any solution should be founded on a clear basis acceptable by all and the non-interference in the sovereignty of others."

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed all diplomatic and economic ties with gas-rich Qatar, accusing it of links to extremist groups and being too close to Shiite Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival.

The four countries also cut off all air and sea links to Qatar and closed the only land terminal for the tiny peninsula.

Qatar has denied the allegations and repeatedly called for a negotiated settlement.

The four nations have demanded that Doha accepts a list of 13 conditions to open a dialogue.

Mediation efforts to resolve the rift, mainly led by the emir of fellow Gulf state Kuwait, have so far failed to break the deadlock.

© 2017 AFP