Germany calls for de-escalation in Middle East

Glen Norman
May 11, 2018

"Reports about last night's Iranian attacks against Israeli army posts from inside Syria to which Israel responded by striking against Iranian targets in Syria are extremely worrying", the Spokesperson for the EU External Action Service said in a statement.

Merkel said Germany supports the Iran nuclear deal as long as Tehran continues to fulfill its obligations under the accord. "The escalations of the past few hours show us that it is truly about war and peace".

Both Macron and Merkel spoke with Trump about maintaining the deal in the weeks leading up to his announcement, even going so far as to lay out a four-point plan for restructuring the agreement as Trump said he wished to do.

The conversation was held two days after US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the country from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iranian nuclear deal.

The Middle East was becoming very unsafe, said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, adding that there was no "Plan B" in response to Trump's move and that France wanted to keep the accord alive even without Washington on board. Macron told Rouhani the same a day earlier.

"Let's face it, Europe is still in its infancy with regard to the common foreign policy", she said.

Mrs Merkel expressed concerns about the threat of war between Israel and Iran over Syria and said that Europe needed take control of its own destiny to confront global conflicts raging on the edges of the continent.

"It's no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us", Merkel said to applause in a speech honoring French President Emmanuel Macron, who sat behind her at a prize ceremony in Aachen, Germany. "That is the task for the future". "(But)... we will strengthen the euro zone, we will make it more competitive".

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