Doha / Information Office / February 11
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani announced the signing of a declaration of intent to establish a strategic dialogue between the State of Qatar and the French Republic, which constitutes a qualitative leap for the distinguished strategic partnership between the two countries.
In a joint press conference with HE Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian, HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the common and firm approach in the relations between Qatar and France calls for constructive steps in this relationship, noting that a declaration of intent was signed for the establishment of a strategic dialogue between the two countries, which constitutes a qualitative leap of the strategic partnership between Doha and Paris.
HE the Minister added that the agreement covers many areas such as defense, security, health, education, culture, sports, economy, investment, combating terrorism and follow up the developments of the relationship between the two countries as well as the implementation of the agreements between them.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed hope that this dialogue will be an important extension of the bilateral cooperation mechanisms and will open up broad prospects for strengthening cooperation relations between the State of Qatar and the French Republic.
HE the Foreign Minister explained that the strategic dialogue between Qatar and France is based on very strong foundations, adding that the dialogue strategy will create the right ground for coordination and action, especially at the level of building partnership and strategic vision combining the two countries.
He further added that the strategic dialogue opens new and very strong prospects for cooperation in various sectors such as security, defense, energy, economy and other sectors of interest to both countries, stressing that the government of Qatar highly appreciates the partnership between Qatar and France, and always works to support this partnership.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that HE Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian held very positive discussions in Doha. He added that HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met with HE Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday, where the meeting dealt with the historical relations of friendship between the two countries, and regional development in the region.
HE the Foreign Minister also pointed out that his talks with the French minister were characterized by an atmosphere of transparency and exchange of views on all issues of strategic cooperation between the two countries, both in the defense and economic fields as well as economic and cultural partnerships. He added that they exchanged views on regional issues, especially the Gulf crisis, the Palestinian issue, Syria and ways to confront the phenomenon of terrorism.
For his part, HE Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian congratulated Qatar on its national football team's recent victory of the Asian Cup. He said the Qatari team played very well hence their victory is a source of national pride to Qatar and is a good indication for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
His Excellency confirmed his country's support for Qatar's hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, adding that football is one of the best enthusiastic aspects that bring together the peoples of Qatar and France.
HE the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs reaffirmed the importance of establishing a strategic dialogue between Qatar and France, adding that the joint interests between both countries paved the way to establish the bilateral strategic dialogue on a wide scale and to continue on a regular basis.
His Excellency said the dialogue will focus on several aspects, such as reaching a political solution in Libya that will lead to elections and achieve stability in the country, thus resulting in security and stability in the region. The dialogue will also focus on ways to resolve the Syrian crisis, which will be achieved by establishing a constitution, holding elections in which all Syrians participate in, and finding a neutral environment that would guarantee success, without that, there will be no sustained victory against ISIS, no return for the refugees and no security for neighboring countries.
His Excellency added that the strategic dialogue will also support sovereignty and the stability of countries that have been hit by crisis such as Lebanon and Iraq, as well as the situation in Palestine and especially Gaza which he said requires a decisive action from the international communities to support the two-state solution that allows the two countries to live side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states.
His Excellency touched on the importance of the Qatari-French relations and the extent of cooperation between the two countries in all fields, including defense, security, economy, energy and culture. His Excellency highlighted that Qatar has recently received the French Rafale fighter aircraft in Bordeaux, France, in the presence of HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, referring to the robustness between the two countries in the defense and security fields.
His Excellency added that the increasing number of threats and crises in the Middle East and elsewhere shows the importance of security and defense cooperation between the two countries, in particular the fight against terrorism, its financing and the ideology that fuels it.
In addition, the strategic dialogue will develop the relations of cooperation between the two countries in all fields, including culture and Francophonie, His Excellency said, noting that HE the French Prime Minister will attend the opening ceremony of Qatar National Museum in Doha in March.
He highlighted the importance of the economic cooperation between both countries, saying that France and the French companies want to keep up with the Qatari economy in enhancing its independence and developing the Qatari productive investments in France, in addition to the sports sector, especially in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
His Excellency said that his country's stance on the measures taken by a number of neighboring countries to the right of Qatar calls for resolution through dialogue between countries, stressing that the people should not pay the price of the differences between States.