The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris -September 12, 2018
In this issue:

◢  United Kingdom – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau (London - September 13, 2018)

◢  Afghanistan – Series of deadly attacks in the eastern part of the country (September 11, 2018)

◢  Yemen – Situation of French nationals

◢  Iraq

◢  China

◢  Egypt

United Kingdom – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau (London - September 13, 2018)

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, will visit London on September 13.

She will address the French community in the United Kingdom, one of the largest communities in the world (147,000 included in the register of French citizens resident outside of France). She will underscore that guaranteeing the rights of European citizens resident in the United Kingdom is a priority for the EU and France within the framework of the negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU and that we are continuing to pay close attention to this issue. There will be a meeting with the French community at the Institut français to exchange views with our compatriots and to respond to their concerns.

Prior to that, the minister for European affairs will meet with the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab. The discussions will focus on the Brexit negotiations a few days ahead of the informal summit in Salzburg. During this meeting, Nathalie Loiseau will reaffirm our full support for the efforts of the European negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the need to finalize by fall, as planned, all aspects of the United Kingdom's withdrawal, including the protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland.

Nathalie Loiseau will also meet with Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They will notably take stock of bilateral issues, on which our countries work in close and continuous coordination, in keeping with the United Kingdom-France Summit on January 18 in Sandhurst.

Ms. Loiseau will also meet with Hilary Benn, Chairman of the UK House of Commons Committee on Exiting the EU, and Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

She will deliver a speech on Europe at Chatham House, an independent think tank established in 1920.

Afghanistan – Series of deadly attacks in the eastern part of the country (September 11, 2018)

France utterly condemns the series of deadly attacks that took place in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing several dozen people and injuring hundreds of others, notably in schools and a sports facility. It extends its condolences to the bereaved and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.

These attacks against the civilian population are unacceptable. France is committed to the fight against terrorism and will continue to lend its support to Afghanistan in order to combat this scourge. It reaffirms its support for the Kabul Process, launched by President Ghani in June 2017, as well as for the democratic process that has been initiated, in which the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on October 20 are an important step.

Yemen – Situation of French nationals

Do you believe that Alain Goma is being held hostage by the Houthis in Yemen?

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is informed about Mr. Goma's situation, as well as that of two other compatriots in Yemen. We are working to facilitate their departure from that country.


What is your response to the Iranian missile strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan targeting Iranian Kurds?

France strongly condemns the Iranian missiles strikes that targeted Iraqi territory on September 8.

France reaffirms the importance of respecting Iraq's sovereignty and reiterates its concern over the development of Iranian missile programs, and to their transfers in the region.

The French President and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs have regularly raised our concern over Iran's regional activities with Iranian officials.


Are you concerned about China's crackdown on the Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region?

France is closely following the human rights situation in China, and particularly in Xinjiang.

It has expressed its concern over the human rights situation in that province and has called for dialogue with local populations, particularly within the framework of the UN Human Rights Council.

France emphasizes its commitment to freedom of expression and opinion throughout the world.


France has long fought to abolish the death penalty. Have you been in touch with the Egyptian authorities following the death sentences handed down to 75 people?

France is concerned by the announcement that 75 people were sentenced to death in the Rabaa al-Adawiya trial.

France reiterates its unwavering opposition to the death penalty everywhere and in all circumstances, and its commitment to the universal abolition of this unjust, inhuman, and ineffective punishment. We call on all nations that still apply the death penalty to establish a moratorium on it ahead of its definitive abolition.

We have an ongoing dialogue with Egypt on the death penalty, and we raise this issue with them whenever we have the opportunity, including at the highest level.

We call on the Egyptian authorities to suspend the execution of these sentences.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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