The Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani on Thursday hailed Qatar-French relations, calling France a strategic partner of Qatar.
On Thursday, Qatar and France signed a World Cup security agreement in Doha following a meeting between the country’s respective prime ministers, reported AFP.
According to a statement released after the signing, the agreement “aims to build a strategic partnership for the preparation of the World Cup in 2022 and the management of the security of the event”. No further details were given. It was announced after a meeting between Sheikh Abdallah bin Khalifa al-Thani and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe in the Emiri Diwan.
Twenty-four hours earlier the French-designed Qatar national museum was opened to great fanfare in Doha, in a ceremony attended, among others, by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The Prime Minister welcomed Philippe and thanked him for participating in the official opening of the National Museum of Qatar, highlighting that Qatar cherishes the distinguished relations with the French Republic established more than 40 years ago.
France’s sporting ties to Qatar also include owning the French football champions, Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the French being seen as instrumental in helping the World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East for the first time.
Qatar, at the centre of a bitter Gulf diplomatic split which has seen it blockaded by neighbouring former allies, had previously signed an air security agreement for 2022 with the United Kingdom. Under that deal, signed in April 2018, UK Typhoon fighter jets and a Qatar/British “Joint Operation Squadron” will patrol the skies during the 2022 tournament.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani said their talks on Thursday were part of a series of meetings seeking to promote relations under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and French President Emmanuel Macron. He said one of the main issues discussed was economic co-operation as both countries have capabilities especially since the Qatari investments in France are increasing in different fields, mostly in energy, real estate and sports. He added that Qatar looks forward to higher investments and trade volume with France, reported QNA.
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