09:56 GMT +314 August 2018
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    German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

    'Europe Has to Grow Up': German President Voices Concern Over EU-US Ties

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    In the wake of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Washington, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an interview to the ARD broadcaster expressed his deep concern over the development of the transatlantic relations.

    "We have to grow up and I hope that in this process we are gradually coming to an end… but frankly speaking the development of transatlantic relations really concerns me," Germany's President Steinmeier said.

    He explained that the reason behind his anxiety is not because he "is looking at a president with some irritating Twitter messages."

    "The new administration in Washington perceives Europe not as a part of a world community ​​within which countries cooperate, but rather as an arena where every country has to find its way around," the politician clarified.

    Steinmeier went on on saying that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron "did the right thing in Washington," since they pointed at European interests not only in the sphere of trade, but also stressed the necessity to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

    READ MORE: US Threat to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal Risks Opening Pandora's Box – Prof

    The Iran nuclear deal, which fate Donald Trump is due to difine on May 12, was among the main topics during Merkel’s visit to the US. The German chancellor as well as her French counterpart several days prior to her visit, spoke in favor of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as Iran nuclear agreement.

    Ever since his election campaign, Trump has been criticizing the deal and even threatening to pull out the US from it. In January 2018, Trump asked the US Congress and European Union allies to address "flaws" in the agreement. Although the German chancellor during her US visit agreed the deal was "anything but perfect," it was a first step towards reducing nuclear activities.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not once certified that Tehran has been fulfilling its nuclear-related commitments. On April 23, the nuclear watchdog's chief coordinator Cornel Seruta once again reiterated that "Iran was subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime."

    The JCPOA with Iran was signed on July 14, 2015, by the European Union and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany. The accord stipulated a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program and allowing inspections to ensure that the nature of the program is peaceful.

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    Tags:
    deal, relations, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Iran, United States, Germany
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