France and Qatar sign deals worth 12 billion euros: Macron

QATAR (Reuters) - France and Qatar signed commercial contracts worth around 12 billion euros ($14.15 billion) on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said, adding that the deals underscored the close relationship between the two countries.

Qatar has agreed to buy 12 more Rafale fighter planes from Dassault Aviation, will employ France’s Suez to dredge and clean Qatar’s lagoon and has retained France’s RATP and SNCF to build and operate a metro system in Qatar.

“In total, it amounts to nearly 12 billion euros which was signed today and which underlines the closeness of our relations,” Macron said at a press conference with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Macron also reiterated he disapproved of U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the status of the city needed to be determined via negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

($1 = 0.8482 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Luke Baker