Germany says regrets any offense caused by Qatar-IS link comments

BERLIN Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:20am EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government has no evidence that Qatar is financing Islamic State and regrets any offense caused by a minister who suggested there was such a link, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Friday.

The spokesman said the German government had been in contact with Qatar following the comments by Development Minister Gerd Mueller in a television interview on Wednesday.

"If there were misunderstandings, we regret these," Martin Schaefer said at a government news conference. He described Qatar as a partner and "important regional player" but said the two countries had differences of opinion on some issues.

A spokeswoman for the development ministry said Mueller's comments were based on press reports rather than concrete evidence known to the government.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin and Michelle Martin)

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