China to host Iran leader amid nuclear deal upheaval

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing on May 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 28 May 2018
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China to host Iran leader amid nuclear deal upheaval

  • China, Russia and European powers, all of which signed the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, are scrambling to save the pact following the US president’s decision to quit the agreement
  • Chinese businesses are expected to step up activities in Iran to fill the void left by the exit of US companies and the possible withdrawal of European rivals amid punitive measures enforced by the US

BEIJING: Iran’s president will attend a summit with his Chinese and Russian counterparts next month, officials in Beijing said Monday, amid efforts to salvage the nuclear deal thrown into upheaval by Donald Trump.
China, Russia and European powers, all of which signed the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, are scrambling to save the pact following the US president’s decision to quit the agreement and reinstate sanctions.
China’s President Xi Jinping will meet Iran’s Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting from June 9-10 in Qingdao, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also attend the summit, he added.
Wang did not include the nuclear deal in a readout of the summit’s formal agenda.
But Beijing, which is already Iran’s top trade partner and one of its biggest buyers of crude, has signalled that it intends to keep working with the Islamic regime despite the US move.
Chinese businesses are expected to step up activities in Iran to fill the void left by the exit of US companies and the possible withdrawal of European rivals amid punitive measures enforced by the US.
Iran is currently an observer member of the SCO, though it has long sought full membership.
The regional bloc focusing on security and trade also includes four ex-Soviet central Asian republics and two new members, Pakistan and India.


Russia’s Vladimir Putin praises Erdogan’s ‘great political authority’ after re-election

Updated 4 min 37 sec ago
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Russia’s Vladimir Putin praises Erdogan’s ‘great political authority’ after re-election

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his re-election triumph in a phone call
  • Erdogan — who has dominated Turkey’s politics for the last decade and a half — on Monday won five more years in office

MOSCOW: Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his re-election triumph in a phone call, after saying the result showed the Turkish leader’s “great political authority” and mass support.
On the call Putin and Erdogan confirmed their interest in “deepening partnership ties between the two countries,” the Kremlin said, singling out priority projects such as the TurkStream gas pipeline and Turkey’s first nuclear power plant being built by Moscow.
In a telegram earlier Monday, Putin had “stressed that the results of the vote fully speak of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s great political authority (and) mass support of the course conducted under his leadership to solve Turkey’s pressing social and economic tasks (and) strengthen the country’s position in the international arena.”
Erdogan — who has dominated Turkey’s politics for the last decade and a half — on Monday won five more years in office with sweeping new powers after a decisive election victory while the opposition raised questions over the conduct of the polls.
Putin stressed his readiness to continue “close joint work” and dialogue with Erdogan, whose ruling party-led alliance also won an overall majority in parliament, the Kremlin said.
“This is certainly in the interests of the peoples of Russia and Turkey,” the Kremlin said in a statement, praising the “partner-like ties” between the two nations.
Putin himself extended his almost two-decade-long rule by winning a fourth Kremlin term in March at a time of high tension with the West.
Putin and Erdogan — who have both led their post-imperial states out of economic crisis but also into a new era of confrontation with the West — have forged an increasingly close alliance in recent months.
In a sign of the importance of the partnership, Putin went to Turkey during his first trip abroad after winning a historic fourth presidential mandate in March 18 polls.
Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides in Syria, with Moscow remaining the chief ally of President Bashar Assad’s regime and Ankara backing rebels seeking his ouster.
However, they have worked closely in recent months despite their differences to try to achieve a political solution in Syria.
Ankara-Moscow relations were tested by a severe crisis in November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian war plane over Syria, a confrontation both sides have since tried to put behind them.