Merkel: No Solution to Syrian Conflict Without Russia, Turkey, Iran, Europe

The conflict in Syria has taken an enormous scale and cannot be settled without the participation of Russia, Turkey, Iran, Europe and other regional powers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

“The civil war in Syria and the fight against Islamic terrorism have escalated into a regional conflict of an enormous scale, which cannot be resolved without Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and, I would say, Europe,” Merkel said in the Bundestag.

The Iranian nuclear agreement is not ideal, but it is wrong to abandon the deal now, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“This agreement is anything but perfect, but Iran complies, according to the IAEA, with its obligations under this deal. This accord was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council, and therefore we — the UK, France, and Germany — as well as other EU members along with us, believe that it is wrong to cancel this agreement in this situation,” Merkel said during her speech in the German parliament.

Merkel, however, stressed that transatlantic relations should stay unaffected by the US move, noting the paramount importance of these ties for Germany and its national security interests.

“Participation in alliances and EU and NATO membership are essential for Germany’s own security. Therefore, despite all the difficulties, which we are facing in the current days, transatlantic relations have and retain a paramount importance, it remains invariable. However, transatlantic relations have to overcome the difference in approaches in these very days, first of all, against the backdrop of the US withdrawal from the treaty with Iran,” she added.

On Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that after talks with the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Iran in Brussels, the sides had agreed to work out practical solutions in response to the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, within the next few weeks. In particular, the European Union and Iran would maintain and deepen economic ties, including in the area of oil and gas supplies.

The statement came a week after President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the JCPOA despite the fact that Iran remained in compliance with the deal as verified by the IAEA in 11 inspection reports. The JCPOA has ensured the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief since it was signed by the P5+1, EU, and Tehran in 2015.

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