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Journey to a crisis: Foreign Minister Maas in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Iran 

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas boarding a German Air Force aircraft

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas boarding a German Air Force aircraft, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.net

07.06.2019 - Article

In the Middle East, Maas is calling for calm, level-headedness and de-escalation – and for the preservation of the nuclear agreement with Iran.

At the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Foreign Minister Maas is setting off today on a trip to the Middle East: the journey will begin in Jordan, from where he will continue to the United Arab Emirates and Iran.  

It is a journey to an unsettled region. The conflicts in Syria and Yemen continue and millions of people have had to flee their home countries. Taking in refugees poses major challenges for the neighbouring countries. The situation in Iran is also tense. In May, Iran announced that it was going to suspend its commitments under the nuclear agreement, at least in part, after the United States decided not to further extend the exemptions for certain exports.

Mood in the region

In view of the recent escalation, European neighbours now also have to play their part. The aim of this trip is to listen to the various perspectives, views, positions and analyses of the countries affected in order to gain an impression of the mood in the region.

Maas will therefore meet his counterparts in all three countries. In Amman, he will have talks with Ayman Safadi and in Abu Dhabi he will meet Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The talks will focus on the situation in the region: how do the interlocutors assess the situation? How can a de-escalation be fostered?

Conflicts in neighbouring countries – in Syria and Yemen – play a major role in this. It is especially important in the current tense situation to seek an open and frank dialogue with key players.

Iran: Preserving and implementing the nuclear agreement

The last leg of the trip will take Foreign Minister Maas to Iran. In Tehran on Monday, Maas will meet Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss the impressions he has gained of the political situation during the trip.

Not least, the visit to Tehran can be seen as part of the efforts by France, the UK and Germany to uphold the nuclear agreement with Iran. Germany is continuing to work to preserve the agreement: it is indispensable for greater stability and security in the region. At the same time, the agreement can only survive if Tehran implements it in full.

After the conclusion of the talks, Maas is expected to arrive back in Berlin on Monday evening.

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