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Foreign Minister Maas at the EU Foreign Affairs Council: Iran at the top of the agenda

Foreign Minister Maas speaking to the press in Brussels

Foreign Minister Maas speaking to the press in Brussels, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.de

11.11.2019 - Artikel

Regional security in the Persian Gulf and the future of the nuclear agreement with Iran, the JCPOA, were the topics at today’s EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

The EU Foreign Ministers also addressed the situation in Afghanistan following the first round of the presidential elections and discussed the next steps in the stabilisation process in the Sudan with the country’s Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok.

Maas: Iran must quickly return to honouring its obligations under the JCPOA

In the course of the last week, Iran had begun to enrich uranium in the underground Fordow nuclear facility, thus violating further obligations under the JCPOA. In Brussels, Foreign Minister Maas called on Iran to quickly change course:

This afternoon I will meet my French and British counterparts in Paris to discuss what has to be done to preserve the JCPOA. In order to achieve this, however, Iran must finally return to honouring its obligations and once again comply with the agreement.

Elections in Afghanistan

The EU Foreign Ministers praised the fact that the first round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan was held on 28 September despite the difficult conditions. There were 18 candidates, including the current President, Ashraf Ghani, and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah. The preliminary results are expected on Thursday (14 November). Should none of the candidates receive 50 percent of the votes in the first round, there will be a second-round run-off. Foreign Minister Maas stressed in Brussels that the acceptance of the election result was of huge importance. He went on to say that the future President would shoulder a special responsibility for the peace process in the country. Germany, together with Qatar, had already hosted an intra-Afghan dialogue conference in July and was prepared to also actively support any future negotiations.

Stabilisation in the Sudan

Together with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, the EU Foreign Ministers discussed the next steps in the peace and stabilisation process. The EU and Germany want to support the Sudanese Government on the path to democracy with tailor-made measures. Foreign Minister Maas asked Prime Minister Hamdok to state what concrete help is required and to eliminate any remaining obstacles to humanitarian and economic aid measures.

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