Qatar, France to launch strategic dialogue: FM Feb 12, 2019 0 426 12345 QNADohaQatar and France on Monday signed a declaration of intent to establish a strategic dialogue between the two countries.“The common and firm approach in the relations between Qatar and France calls for constructive steps. The declaration of intent signed for the establishment of a strategic dialogue between the two countries constitutes a qualitative leap in the strategic partnership between Doha and Paris,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said at press conference on Monday. He was speaking at a joint press conference with Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian in Doha on Monday.The agreement covers many areas such as defence, security, health, education, culture, sports, economy, investment and combating terrorism. It also covers follow- up steps in the developments of the bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the implementation of the agreements between them.Sheikh Mohammed expressed hope that the dialogue will be an important extension of the bilateral cooperation mechanisms and will open up broad prospects for strengthening cooperations between Qatar and France.The FM said the strategic dialogue is based on very strong foundations and will create the conducive ground for coordination and action, especially at the level of building partnership and strategic vision of the two countries.He said the strategic dialogue opens new and very strong prospects for cooperation in various sectors such as security, defence, energy, economy and other sectors of interest to both countries.The FM said that Jean-Yves held very positive discussions in Doha. Earlier in the day, the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani met with the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic. The meeting dealt with the historical relations of friendship between the two countries, and regional development in the region.Sheikh Mohammed said 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, the French minster 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.He confirmed France’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 people of Qatar and France.He reaffirmed the importance of establishing a strategic dialogue between Qatar and France.The French minister 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.He 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.He 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. He highlighted that Qatar has recently received the French Rafale fighter aircraft in Bordeaux, France, in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs HE Dr Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah, referring to the robustness between the two countries in the defense and security fields.He added that the increasing number of threats and crises in the Middle East and elsewhere shows the importance of security and defence 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 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 the two 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.He said France’s stance on the measures taken by a number of neighbouring 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. 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