Berlin, May 19: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Middle East situation had been complicated by the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Merkel told Putin that Germany, like the rest of Europe, did not want to leave the agreement and wanted to continue to support it. With regard to the Iranian nuclear programme, the agreement gives “more security, more control and, above all, more transparency”. But there are also topics “that have to be talked about with Iran”, Merkel said, referring to the concerns of the Iranian ballistic missile program, and the question of how to proceed after the expiration of each element of the nuclear agreement.
Merkel stressed after her talks with Putin how important it was to have an open exchange of ideas, especially if the two countries have different views, adding that the German-Russian cooperation had endured serious differences. With regard to Syria, Merkel said that Germany would continue to support UN’s mediation efforts with full force, saying it was important the already-agreed upon process of constitutional reform really got going. (IANS)