Sat, 26 Sep 2020

Paris [France], Aug 4 (ANI): France on Monday said it will not ratify the extradition agreement it signed on May 4, 2017 with Hong Kong following the implementation of draconian national security law in the erstwhile British colony.

"As the minister for Europe and foreign affairs recently reiterated, the national security law in Hong Kong is a change that compromises the inherited framework of the 1997 handover. It calls into question the 'one country, two systems' principle and the respect for Hong Kong's 'high degree of autonomy' and related fundamental freedoms. This law also directly affects our citizens and our companies," French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It stated that the EU has agreed on options for drawing the consequences of the new situation in Hong Kong.

The statement noted that the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions expressing its deep concern on July 28.

"These conclusions reaffirmed EU support for Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, in accordance with the "one country, two systems" principle, as well as the EU's solidarity with Hong Kong's population, while adopting a coordinated set of measures in various areas including visa and mobility policies, efforts to support civil society, notably through scholarships and academic exchanges, the export of certain equipment and sensitive technologies and the implementation of extradition agreements and other relevant agreements between member states and Hong Kong," French Foreign Ministry said.

"With respect to this last point, and in light of the most recent developments, as things stand, France will not ratify the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017, between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region," it added.

Beijing recently imposed the national security law in Hong Kong to crush dissent in the province which saw massive pro-democracy protests last year.

"Following the decision by the Hong Kong authorities to postpone the legislative elections, France underscores the vital importance of holding the elections as swiftly as possible under conditions that will allow sincere democratic expression, in accordance with the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Hong Kong's Basic Law," French Foreign Ministry said.

Several countries have suspended their extradition agreements with Hong Kong in the wake of imposition of the controversial security law.

Germany has decided to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass, said on Friday (local time) after the erstwhile British colony decided to postpone legislative council elections.

China earlier announced the suspension of Hong Kong's extradition treaties with Canada, Australia and Britain after the three countries announced the similar decisions in protest to controversial new security law. (ANI)

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