France urges Hong Kong authorities to renew dialogue with protesters

FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called on Hong Kong authorities on Wednesday to renew talks with protesters to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis.

Widespread demonstrations against a bill that would allow criminal suspects in the former British colony to be extradited to mainland China has plunged the city into crisis, posing the greatest popular challenge to President Xi Jinping since he took power in 2012.

“I call on all parties, in particular the Hong Kong authorities, to resume a dialogue in order to find a peaceful solution to this crisis and to put an end to the escalation of violence,” Le Drian said in a statement.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Gareth Jones