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France fully supports Qatar in its self reliance and economic diversification programme
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France fully supports Qatar in its self reliance and economic diversification programme

Ashraf Siddiqui
HE Franck Gellet, ambassador of France to Qatar has said that France fully support Qatar in it's self reliance and economic diversification program.  Addressing at a press conference on Wednesday, he said that France understands and supports Qatar’s goal to make the country’s economy more diversified and more autonomous. The aim is for the country to give to oneself the means to remain always fully independent.  He said that France understands that very much legitimate and want to further strengthen, develop Franco-Qatar relations in all areas.
He said that since Qatar's independence in 1971, both the countries have developed deep rooted exceptional partnership, relations on strong, solid, long standing and based on mutual trust and common understanding. He said that our strong bilateral relations are also witnessed from the visit of French President H. E. Emmanuel Macron, first European head of the state to visit Qatar in December 2017 to show our solidarity with Qatar after the blocked by some of the neighboring countries.
He said that during 2019, dynamism of our bilateral relations can be seen from heads of State met three times within one month, i.e.19th September in Paris; 23rd September in New-York during Climate Action Summit and on 30th September in Paris on the late President Jacques Chirac’s funeral. 
He said that seven important agreements were signed during the official visit of French Prime Minster H. E. Edouard Philippe on the occasion of inauguration of National Museum of Qatar in March this year. The agreements cover areas like defense, cyber security, higher education  and culture. 
He mentioned numerous visits by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence Ministers, Armed Forces Chiefs and specially recently signed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Qatar and France. 
Talking on bilateral trade relations and on Qatar economy, French envoy said that Qatar economic position reflects from 13% increase in bilateral trade between Qatar and France during 2019 till month of November. He said that trade volume between both the countries at the end of 2018 was 3.5 billion Euro.  
On his behalf and on behalf of 5,500 French community members serving in Qatar, he extended greetings on forthcoming Qatar National Day to the leadership and people of Qatar. He said that 120 French companies are playing their role in all the major sectors of Qatar contributing towards it's development. He said that French nationals strength is increasing rapidly in Qatar due to it's sound economy, hospitality and high standards in every field Qatar is aiming at. 
Talking on the strategic dialogue between both the countries held this year, French envoy said that our two countries, launched after Minister Le Drian's visit to Doha on February 11, has been swiftly implemented with two meetings in Doha in March and in Paris in mid-October. This political exchange format, which makes it possible to cover all areas of the bilateral relationship, also reflects its operational and strategic dimension.
Talking on forthcoming Doha Forum conference, he said that a delegation of a dozen of parliamentarians will be attending.  French parliamentarians, who are at the core of the French democracy, are also fully engaged in deepening the bilateral dialogue. 
French ambassador Franck Gellet lauded Qatar's role and concern towards issues of the world body like Qatar pledged $50 million, five times the amount of its previous contribution, to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the 6th replenishment conference of the Fund held in October in Lyon, France. He said that this cooperation is the sign of a shared vision of multi-lateralism that must be strengthened to address global issues. In that spirit, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind chaired an important debate within the frame of the PPF on November 12, he added. .
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