Qatari emir says Doha is ready for talks to end dispute

Sheikh Tamim meets Angela Merkel on first trip abroad since regional crisis began

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 15:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speak to the media following talks at the Chancellery on September 15, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The two discussed the current tensions between Qatar and some its neighbors, among other issues. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Qatar is ready to sit at the negotiating table to try to end the diplomatic dispute with its Gulf Arab neighbours, the country's emir said on Friday.

"Qatar is prepared to take a seat at the table to solve this problem," Sheikh Tamim said at joint news conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

The German capital is the second stop on his first foreign tour since the crisis began.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June over Doha's support of extremist groups.

Ms Merkel said she hoped dialogue could lead to "fair compromises".

"It's cause for great concern that after 100 days a solution to this conflict is still not in sight," she said.

Germany has been supporting diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis. Its foreign minister has said the country's intelligence service would play a role in clearing up the allegations against Qatar.


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Sheikh Tamim was expected to fly to Paris next for talks with French president Emmanuel Macron.

The Qatari emir met Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday before travelling to Berlin.

Turkey has been a major supporter of Qatar after it was boycotted by fellow Arab states. It has shown solidarity by delivering food and other supplies and accelerating the deployment of troops to its military base near Doha.

Mr Erdogan's office said the two leaders "stressed the need for a resolution through diplomatic means".

"We support a resolution of the crisis through a brotherly manner and through dialogue," spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said. "This crisis only serves the enemies of this region."