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France, Germany, UK for de-escalation of Gulf tensions

25 Jun 2019, 03:18 ( 24 days ago) | updated: 25 Jun 2019, 03:20 ( 24 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Photo taken on June 20, 2019 shows a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, at the UN headquarters in New York. File Photo Xinhua.

France, Germany and Britain, three EU members of the Security Council, on Monday called for the de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf and asked for dialogue to defuse them.

   The three countries are gravely concerned over the increased tensions in the Gulf that were further heightened after Iran's downing of a U.S. drone on Thursday, said the three countries in a statement after closed-door Security Council consultations on Iran.

   "These developments risk miscalculation and conflict. We call for de-escalation and dialogue, with full respect for international rules."

   The three countries reiterated strong condemnation of the attacks on recent oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the acts of sabotage on four vessels off the emirate of Fujairah of the United Arab Emirates, and any threat to the safety of maritime traffic and peace and security in the region, said the statement, which was read to reporters by German UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who was flanked by the ambassadors of the other two countries.

   "The attacks on tankers contravene international rules on freedom of navigation and maritime transport. They carry environmental risks. And they have the potential to further destabilize an already volatile region," said the statement.

   The United States blames the attacks on Iran, which has categorically denied any involvement.

   The three EU countries also asked to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

   "France, Germany and the United Kingdom stress their commitment to the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 and the preservation of the JCPOA, which we believe contributes to reducing tensions in the region as well as global nuclear non-proliferation," said the statement, using the initials of the official name of the July 2015 agreement between Iran and the six world powers of France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia and the United States.

   Washington pulled out of the deal in May 2018 and reinstated sanctions against Iran, threatening the very existence of the deal, which was formally endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231.

   "We are committed to working hard for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 and urge all sides to do the same. It is in everyone's interests to show restraint and avoid any actions that would undermine this vital pillar of the non-proliferation regime and of our collective security," said the statement.