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US Complicates Middle East Situation, Says Merkel

Tells Putin that unlike the rest of Europe, Germany will continue to support Iran nuke deal, while also raising concerns on Iran’s ballistic program


German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Middle East situation had been complicated by the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

According to a statement issued by the German government, Ms. Merkel made the remarks on Friday during her meeting with Mr. Putin in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi, Xinhua news agency reported.

‘More security, more transparency’

Ms. Merkel told Mr. Putin that Germanylike the rest of Europe, did not want to leave the agreement and wanted to continue to support it. With regard to the Iranian nuclear programme, the agreement gives “more security, more control and, above all, more transparency.”

But there are also topics “that have to be talked about with Iran”, Ms. Merkel said, referring to the concerns of the Iranian ballistic missile program, and the question of how to proceed after the expiration of each element of the nuclear agreement.

Ms. Merkel stressed after her talks with Mr. Putin how important it was to have an open exchange of ideas, especially if the two countries have different views, adding that the German-Russian cooperation had endured serious differences.

“But if you want to solve problems, you have to talk to each other,” Ms. Merkel was quoted as saying.

With regard to the situation in Ukraine, Ms. Merkel said the Minsk accord was the “only basis” to achieve peace in east Ukraine, and agreed with Mr. Putin that it was important to station a UN peacekeeping troop in the area.

With regard to Syria, Ms. Merkel said that Germany would continue to support UN’s mediation efforts with full force, saying it was important the already-agreed upon process of constitutional reform really got going.