France continues de-escalation efforts after Soleimani’s killing

PARIS, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday he continued phone talks with his Chinese and German counterparts on Saturday on the ongoing tension in the Gulf area.

This came after the killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani by the US yesterday.

He indicated, in a statement, that there was a broad consensus on avoiding an escalation and in ensuring that Iran respects the 2015 nuclear agreement and refrains from further violations of this accord.

“We noted in particular our agreement to preserve the stability and sovereignty of Iraq and the security of the region, overall, as well as to call on Iran to avoid any new measure that violates the Vienna (nuclear) accord,” Le Drian said in his statement. Soleimani and a number of militia personnel were killed in a drone strike near Baghdad airport on Friday, prompting a rise in tensions with Iran and heightened concerns of an escalation between Washington and Tehran.

Le Drian also spoke with his opposite numbers in the US, Saudi Arabia and Britain, as well as with senior EU officials on the matter yesterday.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the situation with his Russian and Turkish counterparts on Friday, and all agreed on the need for restraint and de-escalation.

Source: Kuwait News Agency