The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - December 3, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Netherlands / Visit to Paris by Stef Blok, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs – Meeting with Jean-Yves Le Drian then with Nathalie Loiseau (December 4, 2018)

◢  Iran – Ballistic missile test (December 1, 2018)

◢  Khashoggi affair

◢  Qatar

Netherlands / Visit to Paris by Stef Blok, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs – Meeting with Jean-Yves Le Drian then with Nathalie Loiseau (December 4, 2018)

On Tuesday, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will receive his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok, with whom he will have a bilateral meeting and will open the third annual French-Dutch seminar on European issues.

During their bilateral meeting, the ministers will discuss European security issues. The Netherlands is an important and committed partner in this area, especially within the European Intervention Initiative and with respect to operations on the African continent. Ahead of the NATO ministerial meeting due to take place on the same day in Brussels, Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart will discuss the follow-up to the American statements on the future of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. With respect to the Iranian nuclear issue, the minister for Europe and foreign affairs will notably reaffirm our attachment to the implementation of the JCPOA, in accordance with international agreements and international security, as well as European efforts to preserve and maintain the operational financial circuits with Iran in order for that country to go on benefiting from the agreement's economic compensation arrangements, provided it continues to respect the agreement in full.

The minsters will take stock of the proposal for a new EU human rights sanctions regime, which was discussed in a seminar organized by the Netherlands in The Hague on November 20.

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, will also meet with Stef Blok to discuss the UK's withdrawal from the EU and current European issues, notably in the context of the next parliamentary term (2019-2024): budget, rule of law, migration and climate in particular. Ms. Loiseau and Mr. Blok will also discuss the EU's relations with the Western Balkans.

The third annual French-Dutch seminar on European issues will this year be devoted to the citizens' consultations on Europe. Numerous public debates on the future of the European Union have taken place both in France and the Netherlands within the framework of these consultations. During the seminar, stakeholders from the private sector, politics, government departments and universities will have in-depth exchanges on the results of the consultations in our two countries and how to put them in to practice.

Iran – Ballistic missile test (December 1, 2018)

France is concerned by the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile by Iran on Saturday. It condemns this provocative and destabilizing act.

France reiterates that the Iranian ballistic missile program is not in compliance with UNSCR 2231 (2015).

It calls on Iran to immediately cease any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be able to carry nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.

Khashoggi affair

In practical terms, how can international experts be involved in the investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi? Is this a realistic request?

Several investigations are underway in both Saudi Arabia and Turkey in order to shed light on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Without prejudging the outcome of these investigations, France is in favor of giving them an international dimension. This is what President Macron indicated and consultations initiated on this issue with our European partners are continuing.

Furthermore, the ongoing judicial process is continuing to draw the utmost international attention, including with respect to the fairness of the trial and the possible use of the death penalty; France and its European partners have reaffirmed their opposition to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances.

France is continuing to demand that full light be shed on the manner in which Mr. Khashoggi's murder may have been committed. This calls for a transparent, detailed and comprehensive response on the part of the Saudi authorities. We will form our own opinion when the time comes.


What is your response to Qatar's decision to leave OPEC in January 2019?

We take note of Qatar's decision to leave OPEC and to refocus its efforts on gas production.

France intends to work with all of its partners, especially the producing countries, to ensure that energy prices are set at a level that is consistent with the expectations of consumers and the needs for growth and employment.

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