French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that women wearing the burqa would not be accepted on French territory.
“The problem of the burqa is not a religious problem, it is a problem of the dignity of women. It is a symbol of subservience, of submission," he said in a speech which he himself called “an important moment”.
“The burqa will not be welcome in our French republic," Sarkozy said during his address on Monday before a joint session of the two houses of Parliament in Versailles.
Sarkozy became the first French head of state to address lawmakers in 150 years.
Sarkozy’s comments on the burqa were inspired by a resolution introduced last week, and now signed by 80 lawmakers, calling for the creation of a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the wearing of the burqa on French territory, Gulf Times reported on Tuesday.
A burqa is the most concealing of all Islamic veils as it covers the entire face and body, leaving only a mesh screen to see through.
The speech came as Qatar and France held a session of official talks in Paris, chaired by the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Sarkozy.
The two sides discussed means of promoting and boosting bilateral ties, and reviewed a set of regional and international issues of mutual interest.