The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 18, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Comoros – Situation in Anjouan (October 18, 2018)

◢  Saudi Arabia

◢  Saudi Arabia – Turkey

◢  Palm oil

◢  Iran

Comoros – Situation in Anjouan (October 18, 2018)

France is closely following the situation in the Comoros, and especially in Anjouan. It condemns the acts of violence committed on the island and reaffirms its commitment to stability in the Comoros.

It fully supports the African Union president's call for a resumption of the inter-Comorian dialogue. It supports his appeal to all the stakeholders to show the utmost restraint and to refrain from any action liable to aggravate the current tensions.

French nationals living in Anjouan and travelers passing through have been advised to exercise caution, but at this stage no evacuation is envisioned. The French community has been asked to report any travel to Anjouan and our citizens there have been advised to limit their movements. Our travel advisories on the France Diplomatie site are updated regularly. Our embassy in Moroni and the consular agency in Anjouan have of course been mobilized.

Saudi Arabia

Do you think your bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia may be impacted by the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and his possible murder?

As President Macron said, this is a very serious matter and we are waiting for the full truth to be established about what happened. We have asked the Saudi authorities to cooperate in the uncovering of this truth and to provide a complete, detailed response to the questions they are being asked. We are doing this within the framework of the strategic partnership we have established with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia – Turkey

Have French officials heard or asked to hear the recording that the Turkish authorities claim to have of what happened in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul?

We have received no particular information about such a recording or its potential content.

Palm oil

How does France intend to combat the production of palm oil?

The government is not combating the production of palm oil as such. It is the fight against deforestation and climate change that are our priorities: When its production fails to meet certain sustainability criteria, palm oil can lead to significant direct and indirect deforestation, in the same way as other agricultural products.

This is the purpose of the national strategy to combat imported deforestation, which is aimed at ending the import of unsustainable products that contribute to deforestation, and which will be published in the next few days. An important component of this strategy is based on constructive dialogue and cooperation measures, in partnership with the producing countries. These will address traceability concerns and sustainability criteria for production, support for small producers, cooperation in the area of research, and land issues.

France will also support the work initiated at the European level in order to achieve progress together in this area.


The U.S. special envoy for Iran stated that the SPV being put together by the Europeans in order to continue trade with Iran would be virtually ineffective given the number of international companies that have left Iran. What is your response to that?

The work currently being carried out on the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) should make financial transactions easier for firms that want to maintain trade relations with Iran, in accordance with European law.

It is aimed at establishing an economic sovereignty tool for the EU beyond this single situation. It is therefore a long-term task that will protect European firms from the effect of unlawful extraterritorial sanctions in the future.

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