The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 3, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Italy – Visit by Amélie de Montchalin to Naples (October 4, 2019)

◢  Saudi Arabia

◢  Iran

◢  Hong Kong

Italy – Visit by Amélie de Montchalin to Naples (October 4, 2019)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Naples on October 4 in order to meet with her Italian counterpart, Vincenzo Amendola. This visit by the minister of state follows on from President Macron's visit to Italy on September 18, which marked the opening of a new phase in French-Italian relations, at the bilateral as well as European level.

The minister of state and her counterpart will review our bilateral relations and discuss key European issues, notably the next EU budget, the strengthening of the Economic and Monetary Union, social and fiscal convergence in Europe and migration. The goal is to increase convergence between France and Italy on these issues, notably in the run-up to the European Council in October.

The minister of state and her counterpart will take part in a debate on Europe with pupils and students learning French in Naples and the Naples region at the Institut français, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

With the aim of highlighting the EU's concrete support at the regional level, Amélie de Montchalin and Vincenzo Amendola will visit several locations that have received EU funding.

Saudi Arabia

A year after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, are you satisfied with the investigation and do you believe that all those responsible for this crime were tried and punished?

France's position on the Khashoggi case is well known. We asked that the facts be clearly established on this extremely serious crime, that all necessary investigations be completed - including, possibly, at the international level - and that those responsible for this crime be tried and punished.


Have the Iranian authorities provided any clarification on their reasons for arresting Fariba Adelkhah? Has she gone before a judge, to your knowledge?

We are following the situation of our compatriot, Fariba Adelkhah, very closely. France has reiterated its request for consular access to Ms. Adelkhah several times and demanded her release. The Iranian authorities have refused to grant that access, evoking her Iranian citizenship. But her family has been allowed to visit her several times.

French officials have also continually sought to obtain clarifications from the Iranian authorities on the reasons for her arrest. It is crucial and urgent for the Iranian authorities to demonstrate transparency in this case, as in all the cases involving foreign nationals arrested in Iran.

Hong Kong

Do you have any comment, after Hong Kong security forces fired on demonstrators using real bullets?

We and our European partners expressed ourselves unanimously yesterday.

Here is the statement by the High Representative issued on behalf of the European Union:

"The escalation of violence and continuing unrest in Hong Kong, including the use of live ammunition, resulting in critical injuries to at least one person, are deeply troubling. The European Union maintains its position that restraint, de-escalation and dialogue are the only way forward. Indeed, they are clearly needed now more than ever and offer the only basis for an enduring solution.

Fundamental freedoms, including the right of assembly of Hong Kongers must continue to be upheld and the possibility to hold peaceful demonstrations must be ensured. These rights must be exercised peacefully. Any violence is unacceptable and any action by the law enforcement authorities must remain strictly proportionate.

There is a clear need for efforts to rebuild trust between the government and the population. The dialogue process recently initiated by the authorities is a welcome first step in this regard.

The European Union recalls its close relations with Hong Kong under the 'one country, two systems' principle and its strong stake in its continued stability and prosperity. The EU attaches great importance to Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, which must be preserved in line with the Basic Law and international commitments. Continued respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, and the independence of the judiciary, remain essential for the development of Hong Kong."

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