7 December 2017
His Highness the Amir, President of France Press Conference
Joint press conference of HH the Amir and HE President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, following their meeting at the Amiri Diwan:
HH The Amir welcomed HE the President, expressing his happiness with this visit, which strengthens the strong and historical relations between the State of Qatar and France, and HH The Amir indicated that he and the French President discussed in their bilateral talks the problems that the region is going through and how to find solutions to them, as well as the issue of combating terrorism and its financing, stressing that there will be follow-up to this issue, and His Highness explained that several important agreements have been signed that will help strengthen the distinguished relations between the two countries.
HH The Amir stressed that the French President’s visit was a success, highlighting its importance for the two countries.
In response to a question about allegations accusing the State of Qatar of harboring terrorism suspects, and about the agreements to combat the financing of terrorism that the State of Qatar signed with the US State Department recently, His Highness replied that the State of Qatar is interested in combating terrorism and that much of the information circulating in some newspapers about Qatar’s relationship with terrorism is “false and incorrect.”
His Highness stressed that the State of Qatar has recently taken some measures in combating the financing of terrorism, noting that the State of Qatar, along with its brothers in the region and its friends in the world, are united in combating terrorism because Arab and Islamic countries are the first affected by this phenomenon.
In response to a question about the blockade imposed on Qatar, HH The Amir pointed out that Qatar’s position is clear from the beginning to solve the problem – if it exists at all – and between neighbors through the dialogue table, and to speak frankly and discuss points of disagreement through dialogue, expressing regret for the continuation of the blockade by the brothers that took place in the month of Ramadan, which led to the separation of families, stressing that the dignity and sovereignty of the State of Qatar is above any consideration and stressing Qatar’s readiness to resolve the dispute if the brothers He added that the Qatari people have the right to know the reasons for their blockade and the violence practiced against them by the neighbors, because everyone was affected and all the peoples of the Gulf were affected, reiterating the desire to solve the problem, but not at the expense of the dignity and sovereignty of Qatar.
In turn, the French President thanked His Highness the Amir, expressing in his name and the name of the accompanying delegation, their happiness with this first visit, which came after telephone conversations between them and the visit of His Highness the Amir to Paris last September, indicating that the relationship between France and Qatar is not new, but is characterized by economic, cultural, sports and strategic relations, as evidenced – according to His Excellency – from the Al-Udeid base that he visited this morning, which allows the presence of a number of French soldiers in it about fifteen years ago, to participate in the fight against terrorism.
The President stressed that the first topic of this visit is the fight against terrorism, which is one of the main priorities in the joint work between the two countries, and in this context France and Qatar decided to sign a letter of intent and a roadmap to strengthen the field in the fight against terrorism and extremism. He pointed out that France will organize an international conference to be held in April 2018 in Paris, noting that it depends on Qatar’s participation in this matter.
His Excellency the President explained that the security and stability of the Gulf is a priority for France, stressing his support for the mediation efforts carried out by Kuwait, hoping that a quick solution will be found to this issue.
The President expressed that the talks dealt with the regional situation, especially in Libya, in order to restore peace and stability to it through the efforts of Mr. Ghassan Salamé, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In response to the US President’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, His Excellency said: “This is a unilateral decision by the United States of America, and that it does not agree with this resolution because it violates international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, and France will reiterate its position in the Security Council, meaning that the status of Jerusalem is a matter of international peace and concerns the international community, and the solution must be the result of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
On the question about the Iranian role in the region, the French president stressed the need to preserve the nuclear agreement because it is useful even if it does not solve all problems, noting the importance of establishing a strategic dialogue with Iran because it is a regional power in the region, in addition to setting a framework for its presence in the region.