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Merkel Not Enthusiastic About European Payment System to Save Iran Deal

Merkel Not Enthusiastic About European Payment System to Save Iran Deal

Thursday, 23 August, 2018 - 07:45
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin. EPA file photo
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagreed on Wednesday with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s call for the European Union to set up an independent payment system to save the nuclear deal with Iran.

“We have some problems in our dealings with Iran, no question, on the other hand we know that on questions of terrorist financing, for example, SWIFT is very important,” Merkel told reporters.

Maas has made a suggestion for Wednesday’s edition of the daily Handelsblatt on Germany’s future strategy toward the US.

He said he envisions Europe taking a “balanced share of responsibility” and being “a counterbalance when the US crosses red lines,” noting the need to follow this approach when dealing with the policy of US sanctions.

But Merkel said Maas’ article reflected his personal opinion and wasn’t coordinated with the government. Yet she agreed with her foreign minister that relations with the United States were changing.

She stressed, however, the importance of maintaining good cooperation with Washington in the area of security.

Merkel has repeatedly said she no longer regards the US as a full-fledged partner, asserting that Europe should assume more responsibility.

It is also important to keep the door open for the United States to return to international agreements, Merkel stressed, adding that it is also necessary to continue close partnership with Washington in international payment systems.

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