Paris: President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday that influential Qatar-based Sunni Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi was not welcome in France.

Egyptian-born Qaradawi, 86, has been invited to visit next month by the Union of Islamic Organisations in France.

"I told the emir of Qatar himself that this gentleman was not welcome in the territory of the French Republic," Sarkozy told France Info radio.

Qaradawi, who hosts a popular show on Al-Jazeera satellite television, backed Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and has launched a fund-raising effort for the Syrian opposition.

(Agencies)