French President Emmanuel Macron has described his country's relations with Qatar as important and distinguished, adding that they are witnessing continuous progress in all fields.
In a press conference held at Doha International Airport prior to his departure from Qatar Saturday morning after a working visit, he added that France and Qatar have very important relations and there is tangible progress in many issues of bilateral co-operation.
President Macron expressed his deep thanks to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for the warm reception he received during his visit to Qatar.
He pointed out that the talks he held with the Amir covered many and very important topics, including the importance of developing bilateral relations, as well as regional situations such as Lebanon, the Gulf states and neighbouring relations, and the situation in Afghanistan, especially in humanitarian context.
In this context, President Macron praised the role played by Qatar during the Afghan crisis, especially the important assistance it provided to France in evacuating its nationals from Afghanistan at the beginning of the crisis, praising Qatar's humanitarian aid and operations in Afghanistan.
He said that thanks to the efforts and assistance of Qatar, at the beginning of the Afghan crisis from September 4 to 8, several hundred Frenchmen who were working in Afghanistan were evacuated, in addition to about 400 Afghan men and women who were threatened because of their relations with France.
The president added that the joint humanitarian operation between Qatar and France during the Afghan crisis was also represented in the delivery of more than 40 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, especially to the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) in Kabul.
He explained that these operations are carried out jointly, and both countries will continue with such joint humanitarian operations.
In response to a question regarding Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the French president expressed his satisfaction with the improvement in the conditions of migrant workers in Qatar through the fruitful co-operation with the International Labour Organisation.
He said that Qatar's hosting of the World Cup 2022 improved the conditions of migrant workers, and that the dialogue between the State and the ILO has allowed significant progress in this field, in addition to security standards and worker safety, indicating that there is co-operation between France and Qatar in this field.
In response to a question regarding opening a diplomatic representative office for France in Afghanistan, President Macron said that this will happen, but there is currently no specific date as there are talks between European countries to secure a joint diplomatic site in Kabul because what matters is securing the safety of ambassadors and diplomatic missions of European countries over there.
He stressed that this does not mean dialogue with the Taliban, as France has ambassadors in several countries where it does not recognise the existing regime.
The president touched on the situation in Lebanon and said that the resignation of Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi would reopen the door to resuming talks and exchanges with Arab countries in general and Saudi Arabia in particular.
He said that the goal is for the Lebanese government to be able to return to work normally, and to be able to resume work in order to implement the required reforms, and it is also important for the countries of the region to reopen the door to co-operation and economic work with Lebanon.
In response to a question about international efforts to combat terrorism, he praised the Qatari-French co-operation in combating terrorism, and talked about the conference to combat terrorist financing organised by France four years ago and then the second edition of it was held in Australia, where he said that this work allowed the development of a framework and international co-operation to improve the fight against terrorism.