The French President Arrives in Qatar for One-Day Official Visit
The plane carrying the French President Emmanuel Macron touched down at Al-Udeid Air Base on Thursday for his one-day trip to Qatar. The station has over 10,000 US troops stationed at the base to help in the fight against terrorist groups notably the Islamic State. French soldiers work together with them. The French president later held talks with his host, the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the EmiriDiwan.
Matters Discussed in the Meeting
The two leaders discussed the Gulf crisis and the various sanctions imposed on the country. They agreed on the need to use dialogue based on the Kuwait mediation. Qatar is facing isolation and boycott from four of its Arab neighbors namely Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt. The four countries accuse Doha of close relationship with Iran and working with extremist groups a matter that Qatar has vehemently denied.
The two leaders also stressed on the need to enhance the relationship between the two countries. The two countries will achieve this by identifying the different fields where they both have interests and work together. These include areas like terrorism, its causes, and financiers.
The other things discussed by the two leaders include the current situation in other countries like Palestine, Libya, and Iraq. The recent decision by the American president to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital also featured in the talks. They looked at the impact that move will have on security and stability in the Middle East.
Doha and Paris Enter into Deals Worth €12 Billion
The leaders of the two countries also signed deals worth 12 billion euros ($14 billion) during the visit. Qatar agreed to buy a dozen French-made DassaultRafale fighter jets. This means the gulf country will have a total of 36 such fighter jets. During the visit, Qatar also agreed to buy VBCI armored vehicles from their European ally. Qatar will even buy 50 Airbus twin-engine A321s. The French also secured to deal to manage Qatar's planned metro rail system.
Several senior government officials from the two countries attended the meeting between the two leaders. Qatar's Deputy Emir H H Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani was present. Several other ministers and heads of government department from Qatar attended. Members of delegation who accompanied the French president were also present.
The French president got a chance to visit the French and American soldiers at the atal-Udeid air base. He told the coalition soldiers of the importance of winning against IS in Iraq and Syria. In conclusion, he said that his country is determined to avoid partition in Syria.
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