Economy: the Emir of Qatar commits to investing 10 billion euros in France

The Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani signed on Tuesday, on the first day of his state visit to France, an agreement relating to Qatari investment commitments worth 10 billion euros in the French economy by 2030. “We have signed an ambitious investment plan of 10 billion euros,” announced President Emmanuel Macron during the exchange of toasts with his host, at the opening of the dinner given in his honor at the Elysée.

“Strengthen strategic partnerships”

“These investments will strengthen the strategic partnerships between our two countries,” added the Emir. They will intervene in sectors such as energy transition, semiconductors, aerospace, artificial intelligence, digital, health and cultural industries. This first state visit to France by an Emir of Qatar in 15 years, and the first for Tamim ben Hamad Al-Thani, a perfect French speaker, since his accession to the throne in 2013, is a “huge honor for France”. underlined Emmanuel Macron.

“Your country is a friendly country of France, a faithful, strategic partner, on which it knows how to count in difficult situations,” added the president, recalling the common agenda of “defense and security” that the two States are “strengthening” or that in the “fight against terrorism”. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy, ardent architect of strengthening ties with Qatar during his mandate (2007-2012), was at the table of honor, between the wife of the Head of State, Brigitte Macron, and the president of the Parisian football club PSG, Qatari businessman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, member of the emir’s inner circle.

Mbappé and Sarkozy as guest stars

From Kylian Mbappé, captain of the French football team and star striker of PSG, to the CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault or Xavier Niel, main shareholder of the French telecoms group Iliad, the guests arrived at the Elysée to the sound of Viennese waltzes played by the Republican Guard. Nicolas Sarkozy kissed the emir. The latter also exchanged a few words, almost complicit, with Kylian Mbappé, who announced his intention to leave PSG at the end of the season.

Previously, the emir, whose country plays a key role in negotiations with Israel and Hamas, and President Macron reiterated during their talks their desire to achieve “very quickly a ceasefire” in Gaza, indicated the Elysée. US President Joe Biden said Monday evening that Israel had agreed to cease its military operations in Gaza during Ramadan (which will begin on March 10 or 11), in order to allow the release of all Hamas hostages.

The release of the hostages is an absolute “priority” for France, recalled Emmanuel Macron. The emir for his part denounced a “genocide of the Palestinian people”, with “forced displacements” and “savage bombings”. Qatar and France signed a declaration of intent on humanitarian cooperation, particularly in Gaza, including a joint commitment of 200 million euros in favor of the Palestinians. Three Franco-Qatari cargo planes also chartered humanitarian and medical aid to Al-Arish, an Egyptian town near Rafah, including 75 tons of freight, ten ambulances, food rations as well as nearly 300 family tents, announced the Elysée .

“Two-state solution”

The war in Gaza broke out after the massive Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, which left around 1,160 dead, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Israel’s retaliatory military offensive in Gaza has so far killed nearly 30,000 people, mostly women and children, according to Hamas’ health ministry. “The future of Gaza is being played out within the framework of a two-state solution with a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel and a strengthened Palestinian Authority at its head,” insisted the French president. The Emir, for his part, welcomed the role that France could play in “establishing justice in the two States”.

On Wednesday, Prime Ministers Gabriel Attal and Mohammed bin Abdelrahmane Al-Thani will chair an Economic Forum on investment opportunities between the two countries in artificial intelligence, decarbonization, semiconductors, biotechnology and health. The two States will also relaunch their cultural relations with an upcoming visit by the French Minister of Culture, Rachida Dati, to Qatar.

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