Kouchner hails Qatar’s mediatory efforts


In an interview with QNA on the occasion of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s visit to France, Kouchner said the “active co-ordination” between Qatar and France “stems from the quality of the relationship between the two countries which maintain a rich and intense political dialogue.”
Kouchner added that the two countries’ leaders, who maintain a relationship marked by amity and confidence, meet regularly. In this respect he referred to the two visits which French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid to Qatar last year, of which one was a state visit.


He also referred to the Emir’s several visits to France, during his chairmanship of the GCC, including the ones he paid on the occasion of France’s National Day which is celebrated on July 14 and the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean.


The French minister stressed that France and Qatar maintain a distinguished relationship and share similar views on many issues. He praised Qatar’s efforts aimed at solving many crises, saying that “France encourages the diplomatic efforts exerted by the State of Qatar, which has demonstrated its ability to contribute decisively in resolving many serious crises on the basis of negotiations.” As an example in this context, he cited the significant role Qatar played, with the support of France, in resolving the Lebanese crisis.


Kouchner praised the generosity of Qatar, which he said has shown readiness to contribute to reconstruction efforts in Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza as well as Darfur in the future.


He noted that the two countries are at present co-ordinating their efforts on resolving the dispute in Darfur which he said represents the priority of French diplomacy in Africa, adding: “Our preoccupations are the same, since we both want to alleviate the suffering of the people in Darfur and to maintain the security and stability in Sudan and the region.”


The French minister expressed France’s confidence in the wisdom, dynamism and moderation of the Emir saying France could count on that in bringing an end to the conflict in Darfur which has been raging since 2002.


He expressed France’s satisfaction over the dynamic management of the political process by the Qatari diplomacy which acts in close consultation with the UN/EU Chief Mediator on Darfur Djibril Bassole.
Such a dynamic management for the Darfur political process has allowed the attainment of a tangible progress and the achievement of the “Doha declaration on good intentions and confidence-building measures”, signed by the Sudanese national unity government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JIM), as well as the Doha Agreement signed on May 3 and aiming at normalising relations between Chad and Sudan, Kouchner said.
He stressed that France, Qatar and Bassole are continuing their close co-operation to expedite the conclusion of a final and comprehensive peace agreement in Darfur.


To a question on ways to further develop and enhance relations between France and Qatar in various fields to match the intensive economic exchanges, the French minister said his country and Qatar intend to promote cultural, scientific and technical co-operation to match the quality and intensity of the political dialogue.


The current level of the French-Qatari co-operation is good, Kouchner said pointing to the active co-operation aimed at developing the French language which receives a great interest among the youth and is being taught at the two French schools, the French Cultural Centre and the national schools and the University of Qatar.


The minister noted the allocation France accords to the Qatari students.
The French foreign minister also referred to the French mission specialised in archaeology and antiquities which has been working since several years, to revive the national heritage.


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