French envoy sees Qatar's firm desire to end siege
February 19 2018 12:41 AM
Bertrand Besancenot
“Dialogue is the only solution to end the crisis that harms everyone,” Besancenot pointed out


There are signs of peace and a firm desire to end the unjust siege on Qatar, the French envoy for the Gulf countries, Bertrand Besancenot, has said.

“This is in line with the will of Kuwait, France and the US to end the crisis,” he told local Arabic daily Al Sharq in an interview.

“Dialogue is the only solution to end the crisis that harms everyone,” Besancenot pointed out, stressing that France supports the Kuwaiti mediation and Qatar's strong desire to end the crisis.

French President Emmanuel Macron has given special attention to resolving the Gulf crisis through serious participation in the international mediation network to end the unjust siege on Qatar, the envoy said.

“The Gulf crisis has dangerous consequences to everybody, undermines the collective image of the Gulf and obstructs the security, political and commercial co-operation, and even the return of international investment to the region,” he cautioned.

President Macron has expressed his deep concern over the negative consequences of the siege at the humanitarian level and called on the siege countries to lift it immediately, Besancenot said.

“Resolving the crisis may take time, but France's ally, the US, is also interested in resolving the issue which would contribute to ending the crisis.

Besancenot praised the policy of His Highness the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to end the Gulf crisis and his proposal for dialogue with leaders of the siege countries.

“The Emir of Qatar has taken many measures to preserve the unity of the people and overcome the impact of the siege by ensuring food security and the trend towards industrialisation and self-sufficiency, which is excellent and consistent with his wise 2030 vision which aims at providing alternative sources of income for gas and oil in the future.

“Qatar is progressing, thriving, growing stronger, becoming more self-reliant, and creating major international alliances despite the siege,” the French envoy underlined.

At the political level, Besancenot said that the Emir of Qatar has always reiterated his hope of dialogue with his partners in the GCC, particularly Saudi Arabia.

“The Emir took several important measures to reassure his partners, especially his allies in France and the US, regarding transparency in the field of preventing the funding of extremist groups.”

He highlighted the strong concrete measures taken by the Qatari authorities by signing treaties, security agreements and strategic partnership with the US, as well as France, to promote co-operation in combating terrorism and its financing.

"The position of Qatar is very clear. Qatar is fighting terrorism and stresses its keenness on dialogue. Therefore, France supports the Kuwaiti mediation and the Qatari desire and its policy.

Speaking about the relations between Qatar and France, Besancenot underlined the depth of relations between the two countries, in light of the recent visit of President Macron to Qatar, as well as the large joint ventures between the two countries and the horizons of future co-operation.

“France and Qatar have a similar political and diplomatic vision on many topics. The French-Qatari bilateral relations have been, and will remain, very solid. They are based on ancient historical roots and the consensus of visions in several fields".

The French envoy praised the co-operation of the two countries even at the cultural, scientific and technical levels as well as the participation of France in major projects such as the metro and the 2022 World Cup projects. The French institutions in Qatar are investing in infrastructure, energy, environment and modern technologies.

The two countries have signed contracts worth more than 16bn euros in defence, transport, aviation and pollution control, especially during President Macron's visit to Qatar. Security and defence co-operation between Qatar and France is also the cornerstone of bilateral co-operation, the French envoy added.

Last updated: February 19 2018 12:42 AM

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