Trudeau not expected to meet with Iranian foreign minister on G7 sidelines

 

August 26, 2019

 


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

By Teresa Wright | The Canadian Press

 

BIARRITZ, France – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not expected to meet with a top Iranian official who dropped in to the G7 summit unannounced Sunday, even as other Group of Seven leaders and officials have been sitting down to talk about how to save Iran’s fissuring nuclear deal.

France’s invitation to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif led to sidebar meetings with French, German and U.K. officials in Biarritz Sunday — an attempt by French President Emmanuel Macron to broker an ease in growing tensions, notably in the Strait of Hormuz, where a dispute between the U.K. and Iran has been unfolding.

Canada has been supportive of restoring the Iran nuclear deal, but is not a central character in the negotiations now playing out on the margins of the G7 summit, said a senior Canadian official who provided comments on background.

Trudeau did, however, participate in some tense discussions about Iran during a meeting of the Group of Seven leaders Saturday evening at the foot of the Biarritz lighthouse.

Macron said the leaders agreed during this dinner that France could serve as a G7 messenger to Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump later denied agreeing to anything, and Macron was forced to play down his role and acknowledge Trump’s status as “the president of the world’s number one power.”

Meetings between Zarif and the U.S. are not expected.

Zarif did meet with Macron and also held a joint briefing with the U.K. and Germany on Sunday on the margins of the official G7 programme, Zarif said in a tweet that also included photos of the meetings.

For several months, Macron has taken a lead role in trying to save the 2015 Tehran nuclear accord, which has been unravelling since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement last year.

Published Date: August 25, 2019

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