Category Archives: International

Borrell meets Zarif in New Delhi

On the margins of the multilateral conference in New Delhi, the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif. For Borrell it was the first meeting with Zarif in his EU High Representative capacity on Thursday, 16 January 2020 in New Delhi.

In a frank dialogue, they discussed the latest developments around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Josep Borrell underlined the continued interest of the European Union to preserve the agreement, which is now more important than ever, in light of the dangerous escalations in the Middle East and the Gulf region.

Both partners agreed to remain in close touch and continue their engagement in the coming weeks.

High Representative Borrell and Minister Zarif met in the Indian capital on the margins of the Raisina Dialogue 2020, which is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.

Their meeting follows a series of contacts they had since the start of the current crisis on 3 January.

Iran: UK Ambassador arrest

EU top diplomat Josep Borrell expressed his serious concerns by arrest of the British Ambassador to Tehran H.E.Rob Macaire.

The British ambassador to Iran has denied taking part in demonstrations after he was held by Iranian authorities in the aftermath of Ukraine plane crash protests.

Rob Macaire made the statement on Twitter after the Iranian authorities detained him on suspicion of organising, provoking and directing radical actions.

Thanks for the many goodwill messages. Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations! Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy. Normal to want to pay respects- some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting” Ambassador wrote on his Twitter micorblog.

Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed on January 11 that the envoy in Tehran was briefly detained by Iranian authorities, denouncing the arrest as a “flagrant violation of international law”.

Earlier, the Tehran-based Tasnim news agency reported that H.E.Rob Macaire was arrested for several hours in front of Amir Kabir University for inciting anti-government protesters.

New US Ambassador arrives to Moscow

The newly appointed US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, who is arriving in Moscow on January 16, looks forward to enhancing the relationship between the two countries and strengthening cooperation between Moscow and Washington, US Embassy in Russia said in a statement.

“Ambassador Sullivan plans to arrive in Moscow on January 16 and present his credentials to the Russian government soon thereafter. Ambassador Sullivan looks forward to enhancing the overall bilateral relationship and strengthening US-Russian cooperation on several global and regional issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

Sullivan will lead the US embassy in Moscow and its consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok “as they further US foreign policy goals, protect American citizens, and expand trade and business opportunities between the United States and Russia,” the diplomatic mission noted.

Sullivan will succeed Jon Huntsman who tendered his resignation in early August 2019. Huntsman’s tenure expired on October 3. Two weeks later, US President Donald Trump nominated Sullivan who earlier served as Deputy Secretary of State, for confirmation by the Senate. On November 20, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved his candidacy.

EU committed to save Iran nuclear deal

The EU foreign ministers confirmed the intention to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as nuclear deal, with Iran. We regret American decision to withdraw from JCPoA  and I can not exclude that out attempts to preserve it will fail, but today Council was unanimous to do maximum to keep it, the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said.

Borrell underlined the importance of the nuclear deal for the non-proliferation, pointing that without it Tehran would have had a nuclear weapons by now.
In an attempt to save the Iran nuclear deal Borrell invited his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif  to Brussels.

EU diplomat regretted Tehran’s latest announcement to stop abiding to the deal and promised to keep working with all participants involved to find a diplomatic solution.

On the Iran issue the diplomats had discussions with the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, who has been invited to attend the Council.  Borrell had also informed the Member States about the conversations he had with the Secretary of State of the United States Mike Pompeo, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif .

AMENDED:

“We are also committed to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Without the JCPOA, Iran would be a nuclear power today. Thanks to this deal, Iran is not a nuclear power. We strongly believe that it is in our interest to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as far as we can. We have been saying in the past and we continue saying that we regret the United States decision to withdraw from the deal. We continue believing that this deal is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and critical for the regional stability,” Borrell said.
“We call on Iran to go back to full compliance to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without delay and we rely on the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] to continue monitoring and verifying Iran’s [nuclear] activities. We strongly believe in the capacity of the IAEA to be able to monitor all Iranian activities on the nuclear field.”

Baku clarifies position towards MEPs

Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement attributed to the spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva who commented on the information of the European Parliament declining to send an observer mission to Azerbaijan for the parliamentary elections, news Agency Trend reports.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent letters to the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE, the CIS, GUAM, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and other international and regional organizations,” Abdullayeva said.

The Azerbaijani side sent an appeal to observe the parliamentary elections mainly to those organizations of which it is a member and participant, the spokesperson continued.

“Specifically, with regard to the information provided by the European Parliament (EP), I would like to emphasize that it is absolutely incorrect to consider this information circulated by the European Parliament as refusal of this structure to observe the elections”, Abdullayeva said.

She explained that Azerbaijan does not have any obligations to the European Parliament.

Abdullayeva said the information was provided in accordance with the procedural rules of the European Parliament, that is, it means that members of the European Parliament can personally attend and observe the elections, where the EP will not participate as an observer.

“I would like to note that in order to ensure transparency on the eve of all elections, the Central Election Commission regularly provides information on the registration of observers”, Abdullayeva said.

In the context of the early parliamentary elections to be held in Azerbaijan on February 9, Azerbaijan’a parliament sent invitation letters to the parliamentary delegations and the Parliamentary Assemblies of which Azerbaijan is a member, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend.

NATO Stoltenberg participates in EU Council

On Friday, 10 January 2020, the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg will attend the Extraordinary Meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council, NATO announced via the site of the organisation.

They also informed a transcript of the Secretary General’s remarks, will be available on the NATO website following the event.

“Sharing strategic interests and facing the same challenges, NATO and the European Union cooperate on issues of common interest and are working side by side in crisis management, capability development and political consultations, as well as providing support to their common partners in the east and south. The EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO. The two organisations share a majority of members, have common values and face similar threats and challenges.

NATO and the EU currently have 22 member countries in common.

Both NATO and the EU are engaged in combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). They have exchanged information on their activities in the field of protection of civilian populations against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.

Iraqi Parliament voted January 5 to obligate Iraq’s government “to work towards ending the presence of all foreign troops on Iraqi soil,” according to the media office of the Iraqi Parliament.

NATO announced on that it had suspended its training mission, which fields 500 instructors.

The NATO official said other mission personnel were being moved to other parts of Iraq, and emphasised that “NATO maintains a presence”.

The alliance plans to resume its training there “when the situation permits”.

The US was “disappointed” in Iraq’s actions Sunday, a US State Department spokeswoman said.

EU attempts to reanimate JCPoA

The the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell convened an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on January 10, to discuss with the 28 EU Foreign Ministers the crisis situation in Iraq and Libya, concluding a common EU strategy.

The EU diplomacy underlines its vital interest to promote peace and stability in the Middle East and Maghreb.

However Josep Borrell underlines that the situation in Libya remains a priority for the European Union and that an immediate cessation of hostilities and a sustainable ceasefire on the ground would be crucial for regional and European security.

Ahead of the meeting Charles Michel (pictured), the EU Council president, called Iranian authorities to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPoA) during a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani, and afterwards he urged the EU to opt for a more ambitious foreign policy.

Just spoke with Hassan Rouhani about recent developments. JCPOA remains crucial for global security. I called Iran not to pose irreversible acts,” Michel tweeted.

Amid the U.S.-Iran crisis Teheran announced that it was renouncing its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that was designed for non-proliferation of the nuclear weapons.

The Ministers have to clarify their policies vis-a-vis Iraq, where parliament voted for the expulsion of the American military. During his conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi the EU head of diplomacy reaffirmed the European “unwavering support to Iraqi sovereignty and stability in the region”. He also reconfirmed the urgent need for de-escalation and EU’s readiness to support Iraq in fighting Da’esh and engage in regional dialogue.

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