Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Germany supports maintaining Iran nuclear deal - Merkel to Rouhani

Germany supports maintaining Iran nuclear deal - Merkel to Rouhani

Merkel said Germany supports the Iran nuclear deal as long as Tehran continues to fulfill its obligations under the accord.

"We need to do everything to make Europe stronger, more united, more sovereign, more democratic", Macron said. "Don't be weak", he said.

In her speech in Aachen, Merkel urged the European Union to strengthen its foreign and defence policy, arguing that Europe could no longer fully rely on the United States to protect it. "We made the choice to build peace in the Middle East".

Joint comprehensive plan of action approved in July 2015.

Macron said he disagreed with those who branded Germany selfish and against reform, but it was time Berlin let go of old obsessions.

"These are hard discussions, due to different cultures", Merkel said.

Undeterred, Macron insisted Thursday that he wants "a more integrated eurozone, with its own budget".

But Germany is wary of any plan that potentially draw resources from richer countries to bail out struggling ones.

"Germany can't have a perpetual fetish about budget and trade surpluses, because they come at the expense of others", Macron said as he received the annual "Charlemagne Prize" from the city of Aachen in front of an audience including the German chancellor.

The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of that agreement as a response, in part, to Teheran's military interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tough line towards Iran.

Mr Macron echoed Mrs Merkel's criticisms of the U.S. decision to leave the nuclear deal and said that Europe should show greater unity and strength to become the main guarantor of stability in the Middle East.

The German and French leaders have promised to agree a common roadmap for the future of the European Union by the time of a major summit in Brussels in June.

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