EU leaders prepare to discuss Iran nuclear deal, Gaza dev’t

BRUSSELS, EU leaders are currently preparing to discuss the Iran nuclear deal and recent developments in the Gaza Strip during their informal dinner meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday ahead of an EU-Western Balkans summit on Thursday.

“During our meeting, we will also reflect on recent global developments, in particular following President Trump’s announcements on Iran and trade as well as the latest, dramatic events in Gaza,” President of the European Council Donald Tusk said in his invitation letter to the EU leaders Tuesday.

“As regards the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, I will ask the three leaders who are signatories to the agreement, that is Prime Minister May, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron, to present their assessment of the situation following the US withdrawal,” he said.

“I would like our debate to reconfirm without any doubt that as long as Iran respects the provisions of the deal, the EU will also respect it,” said Tusk.

He also added the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will share his thoughts on how the interests of the European companies engaged in economic cooperation with Iran can be best preserved.

On US trade measures, he said the US tariffs on steel and aluminum cannot be justified on the grounds of national security.

“This is why we agreed in March to call for the permanent exemption of the EU from these tariffs and strongly supported the steps taken by the European Commission to ensure that the interests of the EU are fully protected,” he said.

“This includes the possibility to respond to the US measures as appropriate and in a proportionate manner,” Tusk added.

Meanwhile, the summit on Thursday will bring together heads of state or government of 28 EU member states with the Western Balkans partners, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo.

The meeting will be hosted by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov, whose country holds the current EU Presidency.

According to EU sources, the summit will first and foremost reaffirm the European perspective of the whole Western Balkans region.

The summit will also aim to boost cooperation in areas of mutual security concerns, including terrorism, organized crime, and illegal migration.

Source: Kuwait News Agency