Friday, 8 December, 2017 - 06:30
Dammam - Asharq Al-Awsat
Qatar signed with France on Thursday weapons and infrastructure contracts worth $14 billion.
During a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Doha, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said his country was ready for dialogue with its Gulf neighbors.
Since June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have boycotted Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and causing instability.
The signed contracts include a deal for Qatar to buy 12 French-built Rafale fighter jets and 50 Airbus A321 passenger planes.
Qatar also signed a letter of intent to buy 490 VBCI armored vehicles from Nexter, a French government-owned weapons manufacturer, in a potential deal worth $1.7 billion, the Elysee Palace said.
The two countries also signed a $3.5 billion deal on the operation and maintenance of the Doha Metro, currently being built as the country prepares for the football World Cup in 2022.
During the joint press conference with the Qatari Emir, Macron said the signed deals prove the strength of ties between the two countries.
Macron also urged all countries, including France, to give "a very clear commitment" to do more on terror financing.
He added that Iraq would announce its total "liberation" from the grip of ISIS extremist group by the end of December.
As for Sheikh Tamim, he said his country wants to resolve the rift with the Gulf states “but not at the expense of our dignity.”
While in Qatar, Macron traveled to al-Udeid air base, 30 kilometers southwest of Doha, where the US military leadership there briefed him on the fight against extremist organizations.
Macron also met with the 30-member French contingent at the base.
He stressed in his remarks at the air base that France wants to avoid partition in Syria.
Original post: aawsat.com
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