HE Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs: We welcome HE the Minister Jean Yves Drain, Minister of Foreign of the friendly Republic of France and also welcome all the media reporters who are present amongst us to-day.
To-day a series of meetings were held between HE the French Minister and the officials in the State of Qatar. Off-course HE met with HH the Amir where they reviewed the historical relations between the two countries and the regional issues. I also met with HE the Minister and the meeting was transparent where opinions has been exchanged on various issues of the strategic cooperation between the two countries, whether in the field of defense, economic and the cultural partnerships between the two states. We exchanged views on the regional issues, specially the Gulf crisis, the Palestine, Syria, Libya and Yemen affairs, as well as ways of confronting the phenomena of terrorism.
The common and established status of the relation between France and Qatar calls us to take constructive steps in the relationship. Today, in that connection a declaration on the strategic dialogue between the two countries was signed to constitute a qualitative transformation in the strategic partnership between the State of Qatar and France. The Declaration covers a number of issues, including defense, security, health, education, culture, sport, economy, investment, combating terrorism and follow-up of the developments of the relationships between the two countries as well as follow-up of the implementation of the Agreements signed between us.
We are looking forward that this strategic dialogue would be an important resource for all the mechanisms of the bilateral cooperation currently existing between the two countries, and to widen the prospects for strengthening of these relations and cooperation.
Your Excellency the minister, I thank you very much for your visit and I thank all of you for listening.
French Foreign Minister: Thank, you my dear friend, I am very happy for visiting the State of Qatar to-day. It is my nineteenth time, and would like to thank HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim, whom I met. I always feel happy to meet with my friend and counterpart Sheikh Mohamed whom I met this morning. First of all I would like to congratulate the State of Qatar for winning the Asian football Cup, EL-Annabe played excellent matches and this achievement is worthy of national pride, and an omen of good performance for the Qatari team in FIFA 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar. Football is a most beautiful aspect of enthusiasm that draws our peoples together, and we shall stand beside Qatar in the organization of the World Cup as we did during the Asian Games in the year 2006.
In another subject, the first Qatari fighter Jet Rafale was delivered at Bordo a few days ago in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of the State for defense HE Khalid Al-Attyia. This came to be remembered as strong partnership between the two counties in the defense and security areas.
The increasing number of threats and crises in the Middle East and other areas prove the importance of this issue, and here I mean exactly terrorism combating and diminishing and the ideology that fuels it. But, in addition to the main issues which we continue to explore through our strategic partnerships our relationships will also develop in all areas: Culture and Francophonic issue and the National Museum which was designed by the Frenchman (Jan Novella) will be launched and the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will participate in the inauguration on 27 March. The Museum is a symbol of the ties between us.
Economic area, because France and the French companies intend to participate with the Qatari economy in boosting its independence and developing the amazing Qatari investments in France. In the Sports area, of course, especially regarding the preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup cooperation will continue. These common interests justify the launch of a strategic dialogue today with HE the Minister of foreign affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman and it will continue on a regular basis. This dialogue will focus on several aspects: First: reaching a political solution in Libya leading to elections and allowing the restoration of stability in Libya looking for security. As well as the means to get out of the crisis in Syria, and this passes through a Constitution and elections involving all Syrians and creating a neutral environment so that the scenario is not written in advance, and without that we can't reach a sustained victory against D'aesh and the refugees can't return home and no security will be achieved for the neighboring countries.
This strategic dialogue also deals with supporting the sovereignty and stability of the "affluent" countries that have been hit by crises such as Lebanon and Iraq.
The situation in the Palestinian territories, especially in Gaza, requires decisive action by the international community to find a two-state solution for the Palestinians and Israelis to live side by side in peace and security within recognized borders and with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states.
Of course, regarding the tensions between Iran and the Arab countries on the other hand, the measures taken by a number of neighboring countries to Qatar regarding the right of this country, and on this point our position is known, and that the differences must be resolved by dialogue between countries and peoples should not pay for differences between countries.
The Minister of the Armed Forces came here before me, on Friday, and her colleague the Qatari minister was been in France last week. The head of the Commission on Human Rights will be in Paris in mid-February. The France Prime Minister will be in Doha, on 27 March, and this shows the intensity of the relations and the richness of these partnerships.
AFP question: I have two questions if you allow me. The relationship between Qatar and France is very strong in many areas, but what is the difference in this strategic dialogue? And what makes Qatari-French dialogue a stronger dialogue?
HE The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs: The strategic dialogue now between Qatar and France has been very strong and has been based on a very strong foundation. This strategic dialogue creates an appropriate ground for coordination and work, especially at the level of partnership and through a strategic vision committed-to by the two countries, and this applies to various sectors such as security and defense, and the second aspect of course is the economic aspect. We believe that this strategic relationship is open to new and very strong prospects. This is what we consider now. This initial diagnosis of this partnership between Qatar and France is something that the Qatari government always appreciates and supports.
French Foreign Minister: I agree with what my colleague HE sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman said. The positive aspect of this strategic dialogue is that we need to hold regular meetings and address all the essential aspects such as combating terrorism and achieving security for the two countries and tackling, in general, the defense aspects, economy and culture. This urges us to fix regular dates and seek to achieve regular outcome from our work. This is an open area for cooperation between the two countries in a sustainable manner. I will not compare with Italy as I have been invited to do so, but what I can say is that the relationship between Qatar and France is a straight line and steady in goals. We have a relationship with Italy that is somewhat fluctuating, that is there are ups and downs, but with Qatar it is always steadily developing.