Official speeches and statements - November 23, 2018
As the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced on Monday 19 November on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, and in consultation with its European partners, particularly Germany, France has just adopted sanctions against 18 Saudi nationals in connection with the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.
The measures, decided on by the Ministry of the Interior, aim to prevent those individuals from gaining access to France or the rest of the Schengen Area. They are protective measures which may be reviewed or extended depending on the progress of the investigations under way.
The murder of Mr. Khashoggi is an extremely serious crime which is also in breach of press freedom and the most basic rights. France demands that full light be shed on how such an act could have been committed. It is waiting for a transparent, detailed and exhaustive response from the Saudi authorities. It will form its own opinion when the time comes. It reiterates its opposition, everywhere and under all circumstances, to the death penalty.
Meanwhile, France is considering with its European partners the possibility of a collective sanctions mechanism enabling the European Union in future to take the necessary measures in the event of serious human rights violations.
Mr. Bruno Le Maire, Minister for the Economy and Finance of France, and Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, met on November 22, 2018 in Paris.
They discussed a number of issues of mutual interest including the candidacy of Japan to host the "World Expo 2025" in Osaka under the theme "Designing Future Society for Our Lives" which has many assets.
On the issue of the Alliance formed between Renault and Nissan, both Ministers exchanged views and shared information about the latest situation. They reaffirmed what they had previously said on 20th November 2018 in a joint press release, i.e. the strong support of both the French and Japanese governments to the Alliance formed between Renault and Nissan and their shared wish to maintain this winning cooperation.
The Ministers agreed on the importance of achieving an effective and speedy reform of the World Trade Organisation. In this context, Minister Seko and Minister Le Maire agreed that they would use the forthcoming presidencies of Japan and France, respectively of the G20 and G7 in 2019, to continue discussions in this area.
The Ministers agreed to stay in close touch on all the above issues.