15:37 GMT24 February 2020
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    The 11th plenary session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) started on November 29 in Istanbul with the moto "Promoting Economic Prosperity in Asia". The participants, while discussing the prospects of their bilateral economic, social and political relations, are focusing on options for strengthening their resistance to the US moves.

    "After the US sanctions on different countries, many countries think that they have to find other ways, so there is a serious debate on monetary accords among the Asian countries to reach a new mechanism," Ali Larijani, Iranian Parliamentary Speaker, said after returning from the event.

    Larijani noted that during his 24-hour trip, the attention during the discussions he took part in was paid to the ways of strengthening the economic ties between the member states of the APA in order to neutralize the effects of the US sanctions.

    He said that some good proposals were made concerning developing the collective economic potential of Asian countries, particularly signing the bilateral monetary agreements which would let Asian countries to counter the US pressure.

    READ MORE: Future Asian Development Relies on Splitting From US Sanctions on Iran — Scholar

    On the side-lines of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ali Larijani met with his Russian and Turkish counterparts — Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of the Russian Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee and Binali Yıldırımm, the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly.

    Larijani, speaking with his Turkish colleague, expressed his concerns over Washington's activity in the regions, saying that the US is using the dollar as a 'cold weapon'.

    Binali Yıldırımm, in his turn, said that the US influence on currency fluctuations is a 'warning'.

    "We never imagined that the US would one day use the dollar as a cold weapon, but after its agenda came to light, the presidents of Iran, China, Turkey and Russia began discussions on national currency-based trade", Yıldırımm said, according to Mehrnews.

    In May  2018 the US left the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA) regarding the Iranian nuclear programme — a deal which was reached in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group, which consisted of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. After abandoning the JCPOA, US President Donald Trump re-imposed all its sanctions on Iran, targeting "critical sectors of Iran's economy, such as the energy, shipping and shipbuilding, and financial sectors".

    Even though the US Treasury Department called the latest round of sanctions "the toughest ever imposed on Iran", Washington granted waivers to 8 countries, which obtained the right to continue buying Iranian oil on a temporary basis.

    READ MORE: Washington Reveals What Deal It Wants to Sign With Iran to Replace JCPOA — Envoy

    The Asian Parliamentary Assembly, established in 2006 in a bid to create an Asian Parliament, is comprised of 42 member Parliaments and 16 observers.

    The last (10th) APA meeting took place in Istanbul on November 2017.


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