(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Ris june 23 (qna) - hh the emir sheikh tamim bin hamad al-thani attended the dinner banquet hosted by french president francois hollande in his honor and the accompanying delegation.
at the outset of the banquet the french president delivered a speech in which he welcomed hh the emir expressing his confidence that the visit would contribute to supporting and strengthening the distinguished ties of cooperation and friendship between qatar and france especially since it is the first official visit by hh the emir to europe.
president hollande described the state of qatar as the loyal friend and hoped that the friendly relations would continue in an atmosphere of trust and openness.
he praised the vision and foresight of hh the father emir sheikh hamad bin khalifa al-thani and his commitment to the security of the region and the world while stressing the importance of security in the middle east.
the french president praised the existing partnership between french companies and the state of qatar and commended the cooperation in sports and qatar's adoption for the option of the francophonie.
in a welcoming speech during the banquet hh the emir expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the french president for the hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation voicing his satisfaction at the friendship between both countries.
his highness stressed the strong ties between the two countries on the economic and trade fronts as well as in the cultural and educational areas.
hh the emir expressed his belief that the existing cooperation between the two countries pushes for more interest to be given to current and future civilizational issues noting that culture and education are keys to the future of qatar. this is why hh the emir said qatar chose to depend on youth.
his highness said that the world is living through repercussions resulting from crises and contradictions which "applies to our region in particular." however hh the emir added "qatar has continuously defended the values of justice fraternity equality and wisdom and maintained its neutral stance toward crises in the region despite the resulting political tensions." in this regard hh the emir added that qatar has been always pursuing a mediator between countries that expressed interest in it noting that doha works to provide a common ground that allows opposing sides to come together for a peaceful resolution to conflicts.
his highness said that qatar communicates with all countries and at the same time respects the key political and intellectual currents in the region and all over the world and defends freedom of expression and objects to anything that leads to intolerance. he stressed that this is the choice qatar adopts even if it irritates some sides.
the dinner banquet was attended by a number of french ministers heads of diplomatic missions accredited to france as well as senior officials and media and cultural dignitaries. (qna)