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Gulf crisis: French foreign minister to visit Qatar, S/Arabia

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Babatunde Opalana 

 The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit the Gulf region of  Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates on July 15 and 16 in an aim to resolve rhe month old crisis.

 This was disclosed in a press briefing on Wednesday by Agnes Romanet-Espagne, the spokeswoman for French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs who said the French President and the Minister have stepped up talks with our partners and the leaders of the Arab Gulf states.

 France, she said, is concerned by the current tensions affecting countries with which it has close and friendly ties, and call for them to be eased swiftly, in everyone’s interest.

 During his trip, “Mr. Le Drian wants to hear these countries’ views and offer France’s contribution to the mediation effort led by Kuwait, which has our full support. This approach is in the same spirit as the efforts of our American, British and German partners, with whom the minister for Europe and foreign affairs is in constant contact.

 Mr. Le Drian will remind his interlocutors of the negative consequences of this crisis on the diplomatic, political, economic, and security levels. He will reaffirm France’s priority of strengthening the fight against terrorism and, in particular, improving ways to combat its financing and the propagation of terrorist ideas and projects. He will underscore how important it is for the Gulf Cooperation Council to take united action against this scourge and to collectively constitute a force for stability in the region.”, she said.

Stating France’s reaction to the counterterrorism agreement signed by the United States and Qatar, the spokeswoman said France’s priority is the fight against terrorism, stressing that Jean-Yves Le Drian will remind his interlocutors during his visit to the Gulf  of France’s attachment to the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which is vital to safeguarding the region’s stability and providing a collective response to the challenges posed by terrorism.

‘ In this situation, all measures that help strengthen the tools to combat terrorism and UN-recognized terrorist groups, particularly in the area of financing, are positive”, she posited..

Commenting on the visit by M. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, to  Dakar, Senegal on Friday, she said he will.be welcomed by President Macky Sall and will have a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad Mankeur Ndiaye.

 During his stay, Mr. Lemoyne will review development projects supported by France. He will visit the Institut Français and the Lycée Jean-Mermoz. He will also meet with French troops in Senegal as well as our compatriots for our national holiday.

 Senegal is a major strategic partner for France in Africa. The seventh-largest contributor to peacekeeping operations, engaged in Mali and the Central African Republic, Senegal shows solidarity in crises and terrorism. We also have a close dialogue with the UN Security Council, where Senegal has a seat until December 31.

 France is the leading foreign investor in Senegal, and numerous emblematic projects are being developed in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, the Internet, and energy – particularly solar. With more than 20,000 nationals, Senegal’s French community is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.


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