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German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (not pictured) at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing, China, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

(reuters_tickers)

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel appealed to all sides involved in the Qatar crisis to meet for direct talks to avoid a further escalation.

At a news conference with his Iranian counterpart, Gabriel also said he expected Tehran to play a constructive role in the Qatar crisis and said he was working closely the KfW bank to make sure that business deals can be completed with Iran.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants, an allegation Qatar denies.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran and Germany must use all means to strengthen their financial ties.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Andrea Shalal)

Reuters