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Macron to meet Trump, Rouhani to push mediation efforts

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) meets with French President Emmanuel Macron (R) within the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on September 26, 2018. ( Presidency of Iran / Handout - Anadolu Agency )
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) meets with French President Emmanuel Macron (R) within the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on 26 September, 2018 [Presidency of Iran/Handout/Anadolu Agency]

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday as he seeks to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran, reports Reuters.

“France is trying to put together proposals to avoid an escalation,” Macron told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly.

He reiterated that any framework for future new negotiations needed to focus on keeping a system in place to monitor Iran’s current nuclear programme, discuss Iran’s post-2025 nuclear activities and ballistic missile programme and its regional influence.

“We need with our allies, regional actors and Iran to sit around the table and advance on these four points,” Macron said.

READ: France offers $15bn to save Iran nuclear deal

An attack on Saudi oil facilities on September 14, which the United States and Saudi Arabia blamed on Iran, was a turning point, the French president told reporters. Iran-aligned Houthi rebels claimed the attack. Iran has denied carrying it out.

“There are indications that it was a state attack and there was a level of equipment that suggests it wasn’t the Houthi rebels,” Macron said.

He said his meetings with Trump and Rouhani was aimed at pursuing recent French efforts to bring all sides to the table for a new negotiation.

“The strikes … are a turning point and the desire of France to mediate and its proposals remain relevant to de-escalate,” he said, adding that he would do everything to try to create conditions for discussions between the United States and Iran.

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