Under the patronage of HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari, the Francophonie Cultural Week got underway in Doha today with the participation of France, Switzerland, Canada and Belgium. In his remarks to the opening ceremony of the week-long event that was held at Qatar National Theatre on Sunday evening, HE Dr Al Kuwari said that Qatar appreciates the positive role of culture in enhancing the overall relations among nations, referring to the cultural nature of the Francophonie organization and its role in promoting mutual understanding, democracy and peace values. Since Qatar became a member of the International Francophonie Organization (IFO), it has honored its commitments, he said, adding “we are pleased to participate in the cultural activities of this organization”. The activation of cultural conventions and the participation of joint activities give an opportunity to Qataris to learn about and enjoy various cultural creativities of different civilizations, HE the Minister said, pointing out that they also introduce other people to the Arab Islamic culture, which is the culture of many countries members in the Francophonie organization, and to the Qatari heritage, as well. Addressing the ambassadors of the participating countries, HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage said: “We welcome this cultural days and appreciate your desire to introduce your esteemed culture in our capital Doha as one of the capitals of culture, and to strengthen the bonds of friendship with the countries of the Francophonie organization, especially after Qatar became an associate member.” Concluding his remarks, HE Dr Al Kuwari announced the participation of Qatar represented by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage in Francophonie cultural days in Senegal, which will be held before the Francophonie Summit in November.