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Putin and Merkel will meet in Moscow

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 11 in Moscow to discuss the Middle East crisis, the Kremlin reported on Monday.

Merkel will pay a working visit to Russia at Putin’s invitation to discuss escalating tensions in the Middle East following the US drone strike in Iraq on Friday that killed senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. the Kremlin’s media service in a statement published on the presidential website.

Putin and Merkel will also “discuss pressing issues on the international agenda, including the situation in Syria and Libya” during their meeting, which will also address the resolution of the Ukraine problem, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that its leader Sergey Shoygu discussed the situation in the Middle East in separate telephone conversations with the head of the Turkish Intelligence Agency, Hakan Fidan, and Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of Iran’s Armed Forces.

“During the conversation (with Fidan), the parties discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as possible joint actions to reduce tensions and resolve crisis situations in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.

Regarding the telephone conversation with Bagheri, the statement said that “military chiefs discussed practical steps to prevent the escalation of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Middle East region in connection with the assassination of Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. “.

In a separate statement, the foreign ministry said Russia remains committed to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with the six major powers, despite Tehran’s announcement of its withdrawal from the deal.

“The challenges that the international community must face in implementing inclusive agreements require political will and strong collective response, particularly from key stakeholders in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). We are convinced that after overcoming these challenges “The Iranian side will have no reason to deviate from the agreed requirements. We urge all partners not to deviate from the path set by the JCPOA and create the conditions for its return to a sustainable path.” .

Referring to Tehran’s temporary suspension of some elements of the JCPOA, the ministry claimed that opposing restrictions on technology development and uranium enrichment did not pose any threat of nuclear proliferation.

“Tehran’s rejection of the JCPOA’s limitations in developing its capabilities and technological capabilities in the field of uranium enrichment does not in itself pose a threat from the point of view of nuclear proliferation. All its operations are carried out in close co-operation and under supervision. continued IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), “the statement said.

The ministry also stressed that Iran remains committed to co-operating with the IAEA.

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