QATAR - Diplomacy
Ambassador of France to Qatar,
Jean-Baptiste Faivre has been Ambassador of France to Qatar since September 2021. He was previously the Middle East and North Africa deputy director of the French MOFA from 2017-2021; minister-counselor at the French Embassy in Algiers from 2012-2017; head of the Middle East Department at French MOFA from 2009-2012, political counselor at the Permanent Mission of France to the UN in New York and head of the Middle East and North Africa section from 2006-2009; political counselor to the French Embassy in Beirut from 2002-2006, and central administration (Middle East and North Africa Directorate), French MOFA from 1999-2002. He holds a National Order of Merit (2017) and Honor Medal of Foreign Affairs (2006, silver).
France-Qatar relations go back to 1971. How has the Embassy keep enhancing the bilateral co-operations within both countries since then?
My mission is to build excellent relations between our two countries which are strategic partners. I am very pleased that this is being achieved. President Emmanuel Macron made a successful visit last December that allowed our two heads of state to have a friendly and in-depth exchange on all topics. We are pleased that His Highness the Emir was able to visit France on a working visit a few days after President Macron’s second term in office begins. This has been an opportunity to further deepen the exchanges between our two countries. I would also like to point out that the former minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has visited Qatar three times in six months. During the strategic dialogue, which took place at the end of March 2021 at the level of our ministers, a clear road map for our relation has been designed. Our Minister of Home Affairs, Gérald Darmanin, also came on a visit to open the MILIPOL 2022 fair trade together with his Qatari counterpart. Many visits of Qatari officials have also taken place in France. Since 1971, bilateral relations have developed in a significant manner. France was there, side by side with Qatar, since the beginning. In 2022, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our bilateral relations, and I am proud to see what we have achieved together in all areas.
How aligned is the French Embassy in Qatar with Vision 2030?
The protection of the environment has been recognized as a key priority at the international level. This issue is a challenge for us all. Climate change and sustainable development is also a very important area of our bilateral cooperation with Qatar, which we are very much looking forward to developing. In this regard, the French Embassy is promoting a collaborative approach between our two countries’ authorities and companies. For example, the Ministry of Municipality and the French Embassy organized a bilateral conference on circular economy and solid waste management in March 2021, which allowed to present and share our respective complementary experience in sustainable urban development. The French Embassy, together with the Qatar Green Building Council (now called Earthna) and the Doha Institute, also organized a conference on coastal cities and climate change on the occasion of the Qatar Sustainability Week. The conference was organized with a team of international and local experts, who provided important insights into both the science of climate change and the necessary adaptive strategies regarding Qatar and other regions’ coastal cities. It is a concrete example of a topic on which we can reflect and think about together.
Which strategies are determined to bolstering cooperation in the field of energy?
Qatar has become the largest LNG exporting country and recently launched the biggest LNG project worldwide. France is proud to contribute to the development of the energy sector in Qatar, notably through the long-term relationship of French companies with the State of Qatar, whether in gas, oil, electricity production and, increasingly, in the field of renewable energies. In this field, Qatar has implemented projects to curb air pollutants and reduce CO2 emissions. French companies contribute to projects related to sustainable development and are committed to share their expertise to support Qatar’s national vision of developing a knowledge-based economy.
Can you elaborate on the plans for French-Qatari relations this year?
The World Cup 2022 will be a key event, and we look forward to standing next to our Qatari friends to make it a success. The French Embassy is fully committed to supporting Qatar in all fields: security, defense, culture, community engagement, and so on. We are also looking at more long-term cooperation, and the strategic dialogue was precisely designed for cooperation in the longer run and to identify long-term projects and partnerships that could be implemented together.
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