(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) HE Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah has underscored that Qatar has chosen not to remain on the fringe of history, and thus decided to play a significant role in world affairs , communicate with the other countries and mediate to setttle disputes and work to halt fierce conflicts and care for refugees.
HE Al Attiyah , now visiting Paris , has termed Qatari -French relations as close , strategic and long-term relation
This came in his keynote address before a session he held on Monday at Paris Institute of Political Studies, in the presence of a number of government officials and the Institute teaching staff and the institute graduate
He also said that the due concern and attention Qatar enjoys in France should be seen in the context of mutual gratitude , shared values and similar outlook to life , stressing that Qatar's investment in France stems from the full confidence in the French economy and the French people
In this regard, HE the foreign minister said that more than 100 French companies operating in Qatar in addition to more than 4,000 French citizens consider Doha as their home ,saying French exports to Qatar worth nearly 1.5 billion
On withdrawal of Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain of their ambassadors from Qatar , HE the minister made clear that the State of Qatar is pursuing an independent foreign policy free from any external influence and it did not follow the "Axes Mentality " prevailing in the Middle East ,he said: " Our principles and values have not changed over time and Qatar is to take its decisions and follow a path of its own" He noted that "The independence of Qatar's foreign policy is simply non-negotiable and therefore , I strongly believe that the recent statements made by Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have no relationship whatsoever with the internal security of the GCC countries , but they are related to clear differences in views on international issues" He further said; " We regret for these recent statements , however, and we have our own view and our own decisions ." HE Al Attiyah also stressed that the second basic principle of Qatar's foreign policy is its commitment to support the right of peoples to self-determination and aspirations for justice , freedom, and in this context , everyone should understand Qatar's support to the emerging democracies that followed the Arab Spring