00:40 GMT06 August 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said at a joint press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Hakim on Saturday that Brussels fully supported Iraq's idea to hold a regional peace conference in a bid to de-escalate the current tensions in the Persian Gulf.

    Mogherini is currently on a working visit in Baghdad. She said she had discussed "at length" with Hakim the increasing tensions in the region and urgent need to find dialogue-based de-escalation opportunities.

    "This is why we support completely the idea of a regional conference that Iraq is proposing. The European Union is fully behind that, fully ready to support this idea in all ways that could be useful. We have always invested in regional cooperation, and we believe - it is our experience - that it is even more important especially where there are problems. It is even more needed to talk when there are problems," Mogherini said.

    The security situation in the Middle East has been steadily declining since early May when the United States started building up its military presence in the region in what National Security Advisor John Bolton called a clear message to Iran. According to the Pentagon, an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters were deployed to the region.

    In addition, the USS Mason destroyer was ordered to the region earlier in June in the wake of an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. While the causes of the incident remain unknown, the United States claimed that Iran had sabotaged the vessels.

    Iraq strives to manoeuvre good relations both with Tehran and Washington.


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