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USA and rest of G-7 states differ over joint plan on Iran

Any dialogue and a deal with Iran is a music to India's ears. It had stopped importing oil from Iran since May and other projects have also slowed down due to US sanctions.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2019, 05.45 PM IST|Original: Aug 25, 2019, 05.45 PM IST
BIARRITZ (France): French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that G-7 leaders had agreed joint action on Iran with the aim of reducing tensions and launching fresh negotiations with Tehran. But the US President contradicted Macron's comments even as he claimed that he cannot prevent dialogue between Iran and other powers.

Any dialogue and a deal with Iran is a music to India's ears. It had stopped importing oil from Iran since May and other projects have also slowed down due to US sanctions. Iran remains India's connectivity corridor with Russia, Afghanistan and Eurasia and Central Asia.

"We agreed on what we wanted to say jointly on Iran," Macron told LCI television, a French channel. "There is a message from the G7 on our objectives and the fact that we share them is important, which avoids divisions that in the end weaken everybody."

"Everyone wants to avoid a conflict, Donald Trump was extremely clear on that point," said the French President, hosts for G-7 Summit.

But US President Donald Trump denied signing off on a joint G-7 message to Iran over its nuclear programme as announced by Macron. "No I haven't discussed that," Trump told reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.

This contradicted Macron who shortly beforehand had said the G7 countries "agreed on what to say to Iran".

Trump said, "We'll do our own outreach. But you cannot stop people from talking. If they want to talk, they can talk."

Trump also differed on North Korea. He and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly had differences over the seriousness of North Korea's series of short-range missile launches on Sunday, while maintaining that they would remain in sync on the issue.

Trump, who is upbeat about his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said the launches did not violate an agreement and were in line with what others were doing. Abe reportedly said the launches violated UN resolutions.

Launches of short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday were the seventh by North Korea since Trump and Kim met at the inter-Korean border in June.

The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between US and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

Earlier, Trump claimed he was getting along well with his Western allies at the G7 summit in France, dismissing reports of rifts among leaders as they prepared to discuss global trade woes.

"Before I arrived in France, the Fake and Disgusting News was saying that relations with the 6 others countries in the G-7 are very tense, and that the two days of meetings will be a disaster," Trump tweeted shortly before meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"Well, we are having very good meetings, the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great - the talk of the world!" he further tweeted.

Trump wrote on Twitter that lunch with Macron on Saturday was the best meeting the pair had yet had, and that a meeting with world leaders yesterday evening also "went very well."

Eyeing to broaden the scope of the debate, Macron has invited several African leaders to discuss the problems facing their continent, while leaders from India, Australia, Chile and Spain are due to attend a dinner on Sunday where the focus will be on the environment and other issues. The Indian PM will address two sessions on Monday -- climate change and digital technology.

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