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EU nations call for de-escalation amid fears of US – Iran conflict

EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) during a European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, 12 December 2019.

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The killing of top Iran General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport on Friday by US drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump has triggered a global alarm, with EU nations stressing the importance of de-escalating the situation in the Middle East.
“We have woken up to a more dangerous world,” Amelie de Montchalin, France’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, told French radio, adding that the French President, Emmanuel Macron would consult with key players in the region.
“Our role is not to take sides, but to talk with everyone,” Montchalin added. The French Embassy in Tehran also urged its citizens in Iran to avoid public gatherings.
While the UK has increased security through its bases in the Middle East, Dominic Raab, the country’s Foreign Minister said that London had “always recognised the aggressive threat” posed by Soleimani and his Quds Force.
Federica Mogherini, EU’s former High Commissioner for Foreign & Security Policy tweeted that the Soleimani assassination marked “an extremely dangerous escalation in the Middle East”, adding that “hopefully, wisdom and rationality will prevail .. and that a major scale confrontation will be avoided.”
Charles Michel, EU Council President shared the views, adding that “The cycle of violence, provocations and retaliations which we have witnessed in Iraq over the past weeks has to stop”.
“The American action was a reaction to a series of military provocations for which Iran is responsible,” said Ulrikke Demmer, spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a regular news conference adding that Germany will work towards for the de-escalation of the situation.
EU’s foreign ministers have long called for “calm” between US and Iran amid fears of conflict.

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