By Hajer M'tiri
Qatar signed on Thursday contracts worth €12 billion ($14.15 billion) with French companies during a one-day visit by President Emmanuel Macron amid a continuing crisis between Doha and its Gulf neighbors.
The signed contracts cover defense, armaments, the operation and maintenance of metros and tramways, and soil pollution treatment.
"In total what was signed today adds up to about €12 billion, reflecting the intensity of this relationship," Macron told a joint news conference in Doha with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
"We have also signed a number of commercial contracts which reflect the density of our economic ties, underline the closeness of our commercial ties," Macron added.
He reiterated disapproval of the U.S. decision on Jerusalem and described it as "unilateral".
The French president said that the decision violates international law and the UN Security Council’s resolution. “France will state its position at the UN Security Council."
“Jerusalem is a matter that concerns the international community. The resolution must be done through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,” he added.
According to French newspaper Le Monde, Qatar was taking up an existing option to buy 12 French Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation and had confirmed a 2011 order for 50 Airbus jets.
Among the other deals, the French national railway operator SNCF along with the Paris metro company RATP won a contract to run the Doha metro. French state-owned armaments company Nexter sold 490 armored vehicles.
The talks between the two countries are aimed at strengthening the partnership ahead of a counter-terrorism conference, planned to be held in Paris in April 2018.