*Amir thanks President Macron for his position on Gulf crisis and support for Qatar
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani underscored the importance of the strong friendly relations between Qatar and France, expressing his pride in the relationship between the two countries.
In a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday, the Amir said that his meeting with President Macron tackled a number of regional issues, especially Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
His Highness the Amir expressed thanks and appreciation for the French President's position on the Gulf crisis, his support for Qatar and his affirmation that the only solution to the crisis is through dialogue between all parties.
In response to a question about his view of the allegations that promote linking Qatar to terrorism, His Highness the Amir said that plenty of the information and reports being exchanged against Qatar are not true, calling everyone to see what Qatar is doing on the ground for world peace as well as for the region, and praising, at the same time, the French people's recognition of Qatar's deeds in France and for the Franco-Qatari friendship.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani inspects the French guard of honour at Military Palais des Invalides in Paris where he was accorded an official reception.
Asked about Qatar's purchase of the Russian missile defence system (S-400), the Amir said there had been talks, but so far no agreement had been reached on the matter.
At the beginning of the press conference, the French President expressed his pleasure at receiving the Amir at the Elysee Palace as part of his important official visit to France.
President Macron described the French-Qatari relations as solid and strategic, adding that Qatar is a reliable partner and a friendly country with an ambition and a vision for the future, which brings the two countries closer to each other, referring to His Highness the Amir's visit on Thursday to the Mont-de-Marsan Air Base.
Macron added that France and Qatar are working together firmly against terrorism, especially in North Africa and the Middle East.
He added that the meeting with the Amir discussed combating the financing of terrorism and extremism, pointing to the continuation of previous discussions between the two countries, especially during his visit to Qatar in December and the signing of the Declaration of Intent in combating terrorism and its financing.
He also pointed to Qatar's participation in the conference on combating the financing of terrorism, which was held in Paris last April, praising Qatar's concrete efforts in this field.
President Macron said he was looking forward to continued strong co-operation between the two countries, especially within the framework of the strategic dialogue which will be conducted under the supervision of the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Furthermore, President Macron reiterated France's support for the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis, pointing to the daily suffering of the people of Qatar because of the actions taken against them, especially with regard to the separation of families.
He stressed the need to resolve the crisis through dialogue in order to stabilise the region which is experiencing many tensions, affirming France's continued dialogue with all parties for reconciliation.
He further expressed his country's readiness to make an initiative if asked to do so and considered it useful.
President Macron said that the meeting discussed several regional files including Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, the peace process in the region and Libya, pointing out that the Libyan file is a priority for France, stressing the promotion of co-operation between France and Qatar for stability in Libya.
The French President also spoke of a common will to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields, especially economy, culture, higher education, sports and other fields.
He pointed to the common will to develop sports co-operation against the backdrop of Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup and France's hosting of the Olympic Games in 2024, praising the sports co-operation between the two countries in this field.
Earlier, His Highness the Amir and the French President held a bilateral meeting at the Elysee Palace.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed means of enhancing bilateral co-operation and promoting it to the highest levels, especially in the areas of economy, trade, joint military and security defence, as well as cultural and scientific exchange, agriculture and environment, and co-operation in sports activities in both countries, particularly the 2022 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics.
His Highness the Amir met on Friday with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at Mattignon Palace in Paris.
Talks during the meeting dealt with ways to support and further strengthen co-operation between the two countries in various fields.
The meeting also addressed latest regional and international developments.
The meeting was attended by a number of Their Excellencies members of the official delegation accompanying His Highness the Amir, and a number of senior French officials.
His Highness the Amir attended a lunch banquet hosted by President Macron in honour of the Qatari delegation at the Elysee Palace.
The Amir was accorded an official reception at Military Palais des Invalides in Paris on Friday morning. He was greeted by the French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Lemerre.
The ceremony began with the national anthems of Qatar and France. Then the Amir inspected the French guard of honour.