EU supports Iran nuclear deal, wants to avoid further escalation

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the EU fully supports the international nuclear accord with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue. (AFP)
Updated 13 May 2019
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EU supports Iran nuclear deal, wants to avoid further escalation

  • United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to meet EU officials in Brussels on Monday to talk about Iran
  • European countries said last week they wanted to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal and rejected “ultimatums” from Tehran

BRUSSELS: The European Union fully supports the international nuclear accord with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday.
“We will continue to support it as much as we can with all our instruments and all our political will,” Mogherini told reporters before a meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, who are signatories to the deal.

Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt also warned of the risks of an unintended conflict between the US and Iran over the unraveling nuclear deal.
“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with an escalation that is unintended,” Hunt told reporters in Brussels, adding that it was crucial not to put Iran back on the path of re-nuclearisation.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to meet EU officials in Brussels on Monday to talk about Iran.
Mogherini said she was informed during the night of Pompeo’s arrival to Brussels where EU foreign ministers are gathered for a regular monthly meeting.

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“We will be here all day with a busy agenda. So we will see during the day how and if will manage to arrange a meeting. He’s always welcome obviously, but there are no precise plans at the moment,” Mogherini said.
Pompeo is on his way to the Black Sea resort of Sochi where he plans to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday to discuss Iran.
European countries said last week they wanted to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal and rejected “ultimatums” from Tehran, after Iran relaxed restrictions on its nuclear program and threatened moves that might breach the 2015 international pact.

“We in Europe agree that this treaty is necessary for our security,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Brussels. “Nobody wants Iran to get possession of an atomic bomb and that’s been achieved so far.”
Iran’s move was in response to US sanctions imposed following Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the accord with Tehran a year ago.


Philippines’ Duterte loses patience, orders trash shipped back Canada

Updated 22 May 2019
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Philippines’ Duterte loses patience, orders trash shipped back Canada

  • Canada says the waste, exported to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, was a commercial transaction not backed by the Canadian government
  • Canada has since offered to take the rubbish back

MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his government to hire a private shipping company to send 69 containers of garbage back to Canada and leave them within its territorial waters if it refuses to accept the trash, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
“The Philippines as an independent sovereign nation must not be treated as trash by other foreign nation,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told a media briefing.
Canada says the waste, exported to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, was a commercial transaction not backed by the Canadian government.
Canada has since offered to take the rubbish back and the two countries are in the process of arranging the transfer.
But Canada missed a May 15 deadline set by Manila to take back the shipment, prompting the Philippines to withdraw top diplomats from Canada last week.
“Obviously, Canada is not taking this issue nor our country seriously. The Filipino people are gravely insulted about Canada treating this country as a dump site,” Panelo said.
The Canadian embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Philippines has made several diplomatic protests to Canada since a 2016 court ruling that the garbage be returned.
The consignments were labelled as containing plastics to be recycled in the Philippines but were filled with a variety of rubbish including diapers, newspapers and water bottles.
The issue is not the only one to strain ties between the two countries.
Last year, Duterte ordered the military to cancel a $233 million deal to buy 16 helicopters from Canada, after Ottawa expressed concern they could be used to fight rebels.