The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 9, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Egypt

◢  Malta – Reception of migrants

◢  Iran

◢  Iraq


How many individual cases is France following in Egypt in the area of human rights and were you able to get the Egyptian authorities to change their minds about certain cases in 2018?

We maintain a regular and frank dialogue with Egypt with respect to human rights, including with respect to certain individual cases.

We do not give any public comment on these cases, but we are committed to getting results.

Malta – Reception of migrants

Will France join with other European countries in taking in some of the 49 migrants who have been stuck for more than two weeks off the coast of Malta on two German NGO vessels? Why hasn't an agreement been reached yet to let them disembark?

A European solution has been found for the more than 200 migrants who were recently rescued off the coast of Malta or who are on board the Sea Watch 3 and the Professor-Albrecht-Penck. These vessels will dock in Malta and their passengers will be divided among several European countries: France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Romania. Representatives of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) will arrive in Malta within the next few days.

France championed this collective solution and allowed for it to be put in place based on the principles it staunchly advocates: the docking of vessels in the closest safe port, and solidarity in welcoming people in need of protection.

It remains vital to establish, at the European level, a sustainable mechanism in line with these principles of responsibility and solidarity, while stepping up the fight against human trafficking and smugglers. France and Germany have jointly made new proposals to move forward on revising the Dublin Regulation.


Following the European announcement of sanctions on an Iranian intelligence service unit, can you explain if there will be any legal consequences on the financial flows of Iranian embassies given that one of the suspects targeted by the sanctions was notably working at an embassy?

The sanctions adopted yesterday by the European Council are targeted and proportionate measures against a state entity and two individuals involved in plotting an attack in France.

Under Council Common Position 2001/931, which defines this sanctions regime, the EU is ordering the freezing of funds and other financial assets or economic resources of this entity and these individuals and is seeking to ensure that funds, financial assets, economic resources and other financial services are not available to them.

These measures only target the entity and individuals listed and do not affect the functioning of Iranian diplomatic missions, whose property, including their bank accounts, benefit, under international law, from immunity preventing them in principle from being subject to implementing measures.


What is your reaction to the Human Rights Watch report accusing the Kurdish regional government in Iraq—a partner in the fight against Islamic State—of torturing children to get them to confess their ties to that group?

We have reviewed the facts reported by Human Rights Watch.

France demands respect, in all circumstances, for the absolute prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial.

Children are still the primary victims of conflicts. In this regard, France wishes to draw the attention of the international community to new threats against children, specifically early indoctrination and the use of children in armed conflict.

230 million children live in countries or areas that are experiencing armed conflicts and 15 million of them are directly affected by conflicts. We call for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
f t YouTube Flickr Instagram