French envoy highlights exceptional relations with Qatar

On the occasion of the French National Day, celebrated on Thursday, the French Ambassador to Qatar highlighted the strong and deep-rooted relations between the two countries, and the efforts to continuously expand cooperation in various fields.
“The relationship is excellent, but we will work to do even better. I am convinced that this relationship must be exceptional, and that is precisely what our efforts are aimed at,” said Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Faivre during a recent interaction with the media.
As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 runs from November 21 to December 18, the envoy stressed that France will stand alongside Qatar to contribute to the success of hosting this prestigious football tournament. .
Citing France’s expertise in providing maximum security at major events such as the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, he said the French police, gendarmerie and military will help ensure a World Cup world 2022 safe and secure.
As such, Faivre said France has much to learn from Qatar’s experience in the upcoming competition to ensure its successful hosting of major sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Games. Olympics in 2024.
In the political field, he indicated that relations between the two countries remain very close and are developing in a spirit of mutual trust.
“A strong impetus has been given by our Heads of State. Since my arrival, they have met three times, each time for in-depth talks, in Baghdad in August, in Doha in December and in May in Paris,” the envoy said, adding that the former minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visited Qatar three times in six months between September 2021 and March 2022.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna spoke by phone with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani on June 27, and they recently met in Paris on the occasion of the Choose France summit, according to Faivre.
The envoy said French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin visited Qatar in December last year and May this year for the inauguration of Milipol Qatar, alongside the Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Qatar, HE Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani.
A strategic dialogue also took place in March at the ministerial level, where a roadmap for relations between the two countries was designed and also outlines cooperation that is strengthening in all sectors, Faivre said.
He stressed the two countries’ strong commitment to peace, sharing “the will to solve regional problems through peaceful means and dialogue and not through confrontation”.
“One of my main priorities was to reconnect with Qatar on these issues. And that’s what we have done a lot. During this year, we have had many contacts on major international issues such as Libya , Syria and Iran. Russia’s aggression of Ukraine has of course triggered many exchanges with Qatar and the need to ensure respect for international law,” the envoy said, noting that they work in close collaboration on the Chadian file to ensure the success of the Qatari mediation.
“We worked a lot together on Afghanistan. We conducted a major joint humanitarian operation. I would like to thank Qatar again for its valuable assistance.
“France is committed to the application of international law everywhere, in Ukraine and in the Middle East. France is firmly committed to the two-state solution so that the Palestinians have a state. France has long opposed continued occupation and colonization, which are neither acceptable nor sustainable.
“These situations, contrary to international law, lead to tragedies as we have unfortunately seen with the death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, killed on May 11 in Jenin. This shocking attack, as well as the police violence that occurred during the funeral, was condemned by France,” he said.
The envoy cited France’s long tradition of military cooperation with Qatar and remains committed to supporting the country’s defense and fostering regional security.
The French army chief of staff met his counterpart, Lieutenant General Salem bin Hamad al-Nabit during a recent visit, despite a busy agenda with the Sahel and Ukraine.
“He had a very good exchange with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs of Qatar, HE Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah. It was decided to develop operational cooperation, training and exchange visits and to jointly help Lebanon and the Lebanese army,” Faivre said.
According to the envoy, several Qatari military authorities have also visited France in recent weeks, including the Commander of the Amiri Land Forces, HE Major General Saeed Hussain al-Khayarin, and the Commander of Major General (Pilot) Jassim Mohamed Ahmed al-Mannai of the Qatari Air Force Amiri.
Ambassador Faivre said that France remains a partner of Qatar for its high-level military equipment, including the Rafale fighter jet which gives Qatar a unique defense capability in the Gulf.
The two countries, which cooperate closely on internal security, work on current and developing threats such as cyber threats, and in the fight against terrorism or organized crime, among others.
Another key priority in Qatar-France relations is culture and education, which also continue to grow as the two countries work on new projects.
On education, Faivre said that two new joint degrees have been set up: one between Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne and the University of Lusail; and between Université Bretagne Sud and Qatar University in cybersecurity.
“We are also establishing lasting partnerships with the Qatar Museum. Teams of French experts are involved for projects such as the Orientalist Museum, by 2027, and the Moulin d’Art Museum planned for 2028. We have cooperation between the Sports Museums (or Museum 3-2- 1) and the National Sports Museum in Pleasant. We should sign an agreement soon.
“The World Cup will be a great moment to show the variety of French culture and I hope we will have French artists for the event,” he added.