Q - Do you agree with Sigmar Gabriel, who is currently visiting the Gulf, that Qatar’s “sovereignty” must be respected and that some of its neighbors’ demands – particularly the closure of Al-Jazeera – run counter to sovereignty and the freedom of expression?
A - Naturally, France attributes great importance to respecting nations’ sovereignty in general, including that of Qatar.
France urges the Arab Gulf States to cooperatively resolve their disputes. We reiterate our support for Kuwait’s mediation effort, which is a positive step in support of dialogue.
As for freedom of the press, France is committed to defending this freedom throughout the world. Media pluralism, the right to inform and be informed, and the ability to express critical views are vital to democratic debate.