Foreign Minister Zaharieva: EU Is United in Its Resolve to Remain in Iran Nuclear Deal as Long as Iran Complies with It

Sofia, May 17 (BTA) - The European Union is united in its resolve to stick to the commitments it has made for as long as Iraq complies with the nuclear deal, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said here Thursday. She was speaking on Bulgarian National Television following an informal dinner of the EU leaders held ahead of a EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia May 17. "This is extremely important for security in this region and Europe," she said.

The Iran nuclear deal entered the agenda of the EU leaders after the announcement by the US administration that it was pulling out of the deal with Iran and resuming the sanctions.

Zaharieva also said that the EU will seek to provide guarantees for the European businesses operating in Iran.

"It is important that Iran hears that message," she said.

Asked to comment the EU position on the US duties on steel and aluminum, Zaharieva said that "the EU does not want a trade war with the US but it will not negotiate under pressure". The EU is ready for talks but it wants the temporary exemption from the US tariffs on steel and aluminum made permanent before the European Commission be ready to start talks with the US.

Asked whether the Western Balkan countries are going to get a time horizon for their EU accession, she said that they will hear from the EU leaders that their European perspective is irrevocable. Also, specific projects and spheres of support will be announced (as part of the so called Sofia agenda for the Western Balkans).

"I am sure all leaders will support this and the fact that they are all here, plus the six from the Western Balkans, is historic," Zaharieva commented.

She added that the EU will commit grants and the international financial institutions will get involved as well.

"The aim is to make European solidarity visible and tangible for people in this region," she added.

It also transpired from Zaharieva's remarks that Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron late on Wednesday after the informal dinner of the EU leaders in Sofia, to discuss with them the Bulgarian objections to the proposed EU mobility package.

She would not provide details on the talks saying only that contacts on the matter are held on a daily basis at various levels and that Bulgaria will do its best to protect its interests as well as the interests of all countries on the geographic periphery of the EU.

She expects a meeting between the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, and of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, to be a step towards resolving the issue between the two countries. She could not say whether a final decision would come at this meeting but said this is surely going to be a very important meeting - "I know this from the FM of the two countries", she added.

Source: Sofia