UDPATE 1-Qatari fund takes 5 pct stake in France's Veolia
* Qatari Diar to be appointed to Veolia board
* Qatari Diar to hold stake for three years (Adds detail from statement)
PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) - Qatar state-owned investment firm Qatari Diar agreed to take a 5 percent stake in Veolia Environnement (VIE.PA) in a partnership to pursue infrastructure and utilities projects in the Middle East and North Africa.
Qatari Diar has indicated it will hold the stake for three years, Veolia said on Friday. The unit of the Qatar Investment Authority would also be appointed to the French water and waste group's board.
"(The deal) will strengthen Veolia Environnement's position in a strategic area which continues to offer important growth opportunities, notably in obtaining public service contracts," Chief Executive Antoine Frerot said.
Qatari Diar plans to involve Veolia in developing its projects in the Middle East, Europe and Africa to take advantage of the company's expertise in public services and sustainable development, Group CEO Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa said in a statement. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Erica Billingham)