Riyadh, 7 June 2023(TDI): French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, is on a visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar on June 7 and 8 to engage in crucial discussions and strengthen bilateral ties.

French Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, Minister Colonna will participate in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, set to take place in Riyadh on June 8. During this meeting, she will reiterate France’s unwavering commitment to combat terrorism and urge the coalition to sustain its collective military and civilian efforts.

Highlighting the importance of countering Daesh’s resurgence, Minister Colonna will emphasize the need for the coalition to maintain its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

France has been actively involved in stabilizing Iraq and Syria while providing consistent humanitarian aid since 2017, and the minister will announce a significant contribution for 2023.

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Additionally, Minister Colonna will express support for the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh’s engagement in Africa, collaborating with international actors and African countries in the fight against terrorism.

She will stress the necessity of adopting a comprehensive approach that prioritizes population safety, governance, and respect for international law and human rights.

Acknowledging the growing threat of Daesh and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Central Asia, Minister Colonna will call for enhanced cooperation in countering these extremist groups. She will underline that the Taliban’s increasing violations of fundamental rights and liberties only serve to benefit terrorist organizations.

French Minister in Qatar

The visit to Qatar will mark Minister Colonna’s first official trip to the country. She will be hosted by Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. Together, they will co-chair the second session of the strategic dialogue between France and Qatar in Doha on June 8.

This meeting will cover all aspects of bilateral cooperation, as well as regional issues, including Lebanon, and international crises such as the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its implications for energy and food security.

Following the meeting, foreign ministers Colonna and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani will hold a joint press conference.