Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa stressed the importance of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s visit to France and his meeting with French President Francois Hollande showing the stronf existed ties between the two sides.
He said in a statement that the visit aims to congratulate the French President on his victory in the presidential elections as well as his inauguration in Paris.
He described the visit as a milestone in the Bahraini-French relations, voicing the kingdom’s pride in its relations with France and keen interest to boost them in various fields.
Regarding discussions with his French counterpart, Shaikh Khalid said that the recent political reforms in Bahrain had been spotlighted.
“There is a great French satisfaction and support to these reforms, especially the constitutional amendments approved by the legislative power in light on the National Consensus Dialogue visions,” he stated, adding that there was an agreement to follow up on the latest developments regarding implementation of Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI)’s recommendations.
Both sides also underlined the importance to ostracize all forms of violence and conduct a national dialogue among all components of the Bahraini society, through constitutional institutions and without any intervention of foreign parties.
“There is a joint agreement on Bahrain’s access to technical assistance from the French institutions in the field of human rights and judicial reforms,” Shaikh Khalid revealed, adding that bilateral cooperation will also include the media sector due to France’s wealth of experience in this field.
He pointed out that both countries also agreed to bolster economic and cultural cooperation, citing a fund granted by French BNP Paribas Bank, worth $2.5 billion, to Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) to develop the sixth smelter project.
The Foreign Minister also affirmed that both countries also agreed on many cultural projects, including mainly teaching the French language at all educational levels.