France asserts importance on ties, cooperation with Qatar

DOHA, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that mutual interests between his country and Qatar have paved the way for a wide and constant bilateral strategic dialogue.

In a joint press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Thani, Le Drian said that such dialogue would focus on many fronts, namely a political solution for Libyan that will lead to stability there and in the region.

The French minster added that the strategic dialogue would also focus on efforts for ending the Syrian crisis, which is achieved through the wording of a constitution, holding elections that would involve all Syrians, and creating a neutral environment so that the outcome would not be determined in advance.

“Without all that, there won’t be a sustained defeat to the so-called Islamic State (IS), no path for refugees return, and no stability in the neighboring countries,” Le Drian said.

The minister noted that the strategic dialogue would also cover supporting the sovereignty and stability of crisis-stricken countries such as Lebanon and Iraq, as well as the situation in the Palestinian territories, particularly Gaza, where the situation requires decisive action by the international community in finding a two-state solution.

Turning to the importance of the French-Qatari relations and the extent of cooperation between the two countries in all fields including defense, security, economy, energy and culture.

Le Drian noted that Qatar recently received the first French fighter jet from the French city of Bordeaux, which reflected on the strong partnership between the two countries in the field of defense and security.

The French minister 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.

Meanwhile, Al-Thani said the signing of a declaration of intent to establish a strategic dialogue represents a qualitative leap forward in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The minister added 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 and to follow up the implementation of the agreements between them.

Al-Thani expressed hopes that this dialogue will be an important extension of all existing mechanisms of bilateral cooperation between the two countries and open up broad prospects for strengthening cooperation relations between Qatar and France.

Earlier, Qatar and France signed a declaration intent in order to develop strategic dialogue between the two countries in several fields such as security, health and education.

Source: Kuwait News Agency