Sunday, May 26, 2019 | ePaper

Pompeo to visit Brussels as Europe meets on Iran

  • Print


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will head to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi to meet President Vladimir Putin.

AFP :
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Brussels on Monday to discuss "pressing matters" including the Iran nuclear deal, as the European signatories to the accord meet for talks on how to prevent its collapse.
The EU reiterated its determination to save the 2015 agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief, as tensions between the US and Iran rack up.
Iran last week announced it was suspending some of its commitments under the agreement, a year after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord and imposed swingeing sanctions on the Islamic republic-putting the deal in grave peril.
Adding a military dimension to the diplomatic tensions, Washington is sending an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to the Gulf, having already deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers.
The European Union's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini stressed the need for dialogue as "the only and the best way to address differences and avoid escalation" in the region, as she arrived for a scheduled meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers.
"We continue to fully support the nuclear deal with Iran, its full implementation," Mogherini said.
"It has been and continues to be for us a key element of the non-proliferation architecture both globally and in the region." Alongside the meeting of all 28 foreign ministers, the representatives of Britain, France and Germany-the three European signatories-will meet Mogherini to discuss how to keep the deal going.
"We in Europe agree that this agreement is necessary for our security. No-one wants Iran to come into possession of a nuclear bomb," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said as he arrived.
"That is why we will continue to support the implementation of this agreement."
Few details of Pompeo's agenda in Brussels have been announced, beyond the State Department saying talks would be held with officials from France, the UK and Germany.
Mogherini gave a chilly response to news of Pompeo's visit, which she said was only communicated to Brussels at the last minute. "We'll be here all day with a busy agenda so we'll see during the day how and if we manage to arrange a meeting," she told reporters.
President Hassan Rouhani issued an ultimatum to the Europeans last week, threatening that Iran would go further if they fail to deliver sanctions relief to counterbalance Trump's renewed assault on the Iranian economy within 60 days. The European powers rejected that ultimatum.
The US has continued to build pressure on Iran, with Pompeo accusing Tehran of planning "imminent" attacks and bolstering the military presence in the Gulf.
Pompeo's visit to Brussels means he is scrapping a stop expected on Monday in Moscow.
But he will still head to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday to meet President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a State Department official added just before Pompeo left Washington.
In recent days, Pompeo has already cancelled trips to Berlin and to Greenland to focus on the Iran issue.

More News For this Category

Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, US

Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, US

AP, Baghdad  :Iraq offered Sunday to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran's nuclear deal

US envoy calls for Beijing 'dialogue' with Dalai Lama

US envoy calls for Beijing 'dialogue' with Dalai Lama

Reuters, Beijing :China should hold talks with Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad told Chinese officials during a trip to the Himalayan region where

Trump downplays North Korean missile treat

Trump downplays North Korean missile treat

AP, Tokyo :In an apparent contradiction of his national security adviser, President Donald Trump on Sunday downplayed recent North Korean missile tests, tweeting from Tokyo that they're not a concern

After years in jail, Syrian mother eyes new life

After years in jail, Syrian mother eyes new life

AFP, Maarat Masrin :After giving birth and raising a toddler during four years in a Syrian prison, 30-year-old Hasna Dbeis is now free - and determined to forge a new

Europe's voters elect new parliament as nationalism mounts

Europe's voters elect new parliament as nationalism mounts

AP, Brussels  :Pivotal elections for the European Union parliament reached their climax Sunday as the last 21 nations went to the polls, with results to be announced in the evening

News In Brief

UN chief rejects Yemen president's accusation of biasAFP, DubaiUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has assured Yemen's leader that the world body will remain impartial in efforts to resolve the country's conflict,

US troop move to ME dangerous for international peace: Iran's FM

US troop move to ME dangerous for international peace: Iran's FM

AFP, Tehran  :Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a "threat to international peace," state media

US Ambassador raises concerns during rare Tibet visit

US Ambassador raises concerns during rare Tibet visit

AP, Beijing  :The U.S. Ambassador to China urged Beijing to engage in substantive dialogue with exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama during a visit to the Himalayan region over

US judge suspended for anti-Trump comments

US judge suspended for anti-Trump comments

AFP, Los Angeles  :A US judge has been suspended for six months without pay after making derogatory comments about Donald Trump, including criticizing his "inability to govern and political incompetence."Utah

Pakistan PM warns against war in region amid Iran tensions with US, Saudi Arabia

Pakistan PM warns against war in region amid Iran tensions with US, Saudi Arabia

Reuters, Islamabad  : Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned against the risk of conflict in the region, following a visit to Islamabad by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as tensions between