Bulgarian Foreign Minister: EU remains united over Iran nuclear deal

As long as Iran implements the nuclear deal, the European Union and all its 28 member states remain part of the deal, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said on May 17.

Zaharieva, whose country currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, was speaking the morning after the Iran nuclear deal was among the main items at informal dinner hosted in Sofia for EU leaders.

The deal was an extremely important solution for stability and security in Europe and the world, she said.

“All the consequences of a refugee crisis are borne out by Europe,” Zaharieva said. The EU remained united on the matter for as long as Iran implemented the agreement and the plan for nuclear disarmament.

European countries are committed to guaranteeing the interests of European businesses in Iran after US sanctions are imposed, Zaharieva said.

She said that unless the Iran nuclear deal had been reached, there was a risk of further destabilisation of the region. So far, there was no evidence, after 11 reports, that Iran was not complying with the deal.

While the EU leaders are in Sofia for the May 17 EU – Western Balkans summit, the gathering in Sofia has been dominated by discussions about responses to the actions of the Trump administration, with the US President having repudiated the Iran nuclear deal, and has provoked a storm with its moves on steel and aluminium tariffs.

Zaharieva said that the EU does not want a trade war with the US, while it could not negotiate under pressure. She said that the European Commission was in a stronger negotiating position because it had the support of all member states.

Speaking on May 16, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, for whom the EU – Western Balkans summit has been a pet project within his country’s EU Presidency, expressed regret that most of the EU leaders’ attention was being focused on the EU – US trade relations and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran.

(Photo of Zaharieva: Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)



The Sofia Globe staff

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