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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Diplomacy: Baerbock discusses Iran and Africa with G7 colleagues

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On the final day of the G7 consultations of economically strong democracies, conflict and war will also be discussed in the Peace Hall of Münster City Hall. The focus is on Iran and Africa.

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The G7 foreign ministers continue their meeting in Munster today with deliberations on the violence against demonstrators in Iran. In addition to the system-critical protests there, the G7 round around hostess Annalena Baerbock (Greens) should also deal with reports about possible additional arms deliveries from Tehran to Russia.

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The G7 group of economically strong democracies also wants to talk about their relations with Central Asia. Talks with African politicians are said to be about regional conflicts and strategic issues. In addition to Germany, the group includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and Great Britain. Germany will hold the presidency until the end of the year, and Japan will take over the presidency next year.

Iran: In addition to protests, discussion about arms deliveries

US National Security Council communications director John Kirby recently said there remained concern that Iran could supply Moscow with weapons other than combat drones, such as surface-to-surface missiles.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna threatened further sanctions by the G7 countries on Thursday evening in view of Iranian support for Russia. “We must be prepared to agree on new sanctions against Iran if necessary,” she said on the sidelines of the meeting. In addition, the suppression of peaceful protests will be collectively condemned. They demand the release of French, European and other nationals illegally detained. Baerbock had also sharply criticized Tehran for the human rights situation in the country. The federal government called on German citizens to leave the country.

Iran’s supreme religious leader Ali Khamenei recently described the protests as a “hybrid war”. “Some insidious and malicious European powers” have invaded Iran’s soil.

The ongoing dispute with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to be discussed during the discussions in the Peace Hall of Münster’s historic town hall. According to state media, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian said on Wednesday that his country wanted to continue talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in this regard. A delegation should travel to Vienna for talks.

Because of the violence against demonstrators, politicians in the US and Europe had recently questioned the nuclear talks. The agreement is intended to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. In return, economic sanctions are to be lifted. Also because of the Iranian military aid for Russia, a quick agreement in the nuclear dispute is considered rather unlikely. The West cannot currently sign such an agreement, as it would also mean lifting sanctions, they say. In view of the human rights situation in the country, however, this is not the case.

Meeting with African ministers and AU representative

After the conclusion of the deliberations in the G7 circle, Baerbock and her colleagues want to speak to representatives of African states and the regional organization African Union around noon. Among those expected are Ghana’s foreign minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and her Kenyan counterpart, Alfred Mutua. Both countries are currently non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

In a first meeting, conflicts in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa will be discussed. A second session is likely to deal with strategic and global issues. Topics such as food and energy security and the consequences of the corona pandemic will be discussed here.

Source: Stern

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