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Netanyahu to meet Merkel and Macron as EU considers salvaging Iran nuclear deal

European Union Foreign ministers will gather in Brussels on Monday to discuss the nuclear deal in light of the U.S. decision to withdraw from it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011. Credit: EPA/Hannibal Hanschke.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011. Credit: EPA/Hannibal Hanschke.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris next week. Netanyahu is expected to press the European leaders on Iranian nuclear deal and highlight Iranian aggression in the region.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu will begin his tour of Europe in Berlin, where he will meet with Merkel on June 4. He will travel to Paris later that day for talks with Macron.

The meetings will be Netanyahu’s first with Merkel and Macron since U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to withdraw from the 2015 deal with Iran, designed to limit Iran’s nuclear program, and reimpose sanctions.

The U.S. withdrawal was opposed by France and Germany, which both signed the deal and have expressed opposition to the reinstatement of U.S. sanctions on firms operating in Iran.

The two countries, along with fellow signatories Britain, Russia and China, are now seeking, under the umbrella of the European Union, to salvage the accord, with Iran demanding economic guarantees for its continued compliance.

European Union Foreign ministers, who will meet on Monday in Brussels, will continue to discuss Iran and the nuclear deal—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—in light of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the agreement. At a meeting in Sofia earlier this month, leaders agreed that the E.U. will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it.

In Brussels, the foreign ministers will also discuss the situation in Gaza following recent developments, as well as the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

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