Asserting that conditions are now in place for US President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to meet at the United Nations, French President Emmanuel Macron said that it still remains their decision whether to move forward.
After holding separate meetings with Trump and Rouhani, Macron said: “I believe that the conditions in this context for a rapid return to negotiations have been created,” reported Al Jazeera.
Adding that decision depends on the will of both sides, he added, “There is a common intent to progress and to not just find the terms of a de-escalation, but to build a long-term accord.”
The French President has been pressing for a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis between the US and Iran. As a result, he met Rouhani twice in the last two days and previously offered economic incentives aimed at persuading the Iranian leader to hold talks with Trump.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have escalated since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal JCPoA last year. Following which, Washington increased its drumbeat of aggression and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
However, earlier on Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the United Nations had said that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
The three leaders, in a joint statement released by France, said: “It is clear for us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation.”
Tension in the Middle East surged following an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on September 14, knocking out half the kingdom’s oil production.
Yemen’s Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the United States and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of being behind the attacks.
Denying any involvement in the incident, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday stated that he had no reason to believe Houthi rebels were lying when they claimed responsibility for the attack on key Saudi oil facilities.
He called it a “high-precision, low-impact” assault with no casualties.