French Defence Minister: EU not to join US -led coalition in the Persian Gulf

French Defence Minister Florence Parly said that the European Union would not participate in the US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf.

Iran Press/Europe: "We must guarantee free navigation and security in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital region for the transport of hydrocarbons," she told AFP.

"But there is no question of creating an escort force", Parly highlighted. Parley's remarks came before the Informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers and EU Foreign Ministers in the Finish capital of Helsinki on Thursday.

Earlier, The United States had increased its military presence in the region and even called on other countries to join the US-led effort to enhance maritime security. But France refused to align on such a mission as it could be associated with the 'maximum pressure' policy and undermine efforts to keep the original agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) alive.

According to the Sky News, French President Emmanuel Macron wants Europe to enjoy 'strategic autonomy' over defence rather than relying on the United States. Last week, Zarif arrived in Paris late for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the 2015 nuclear deal after he wrapped up the Scandinavia tour.

Before Scandinavia tour which took him to Finland, Sweden, and Norway, Zarif visited Kuwait. Later on August 23, the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said had a 'Positive and Constructive' conversation on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in Paris. Zarif also held talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

On August 26, French Presidential Palace has praised as positive the talks between the President Emanuel Macron and Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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France is not the only country which has had given the 'cold shoulder' to a Trump administration proposal to set up a military coalition in the Persian Gulf. Germany and Poland also has been at odds with US-led naval mission in Strait of Hormuz.

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Iranian nuclear issue is one of the main topics at the summit of the G7 summit. Together with Britain and Germany, the host country France is willing to take advantage of the event to rescue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iranian nuclear deal, from which the United States has withdrawn, raising the tension of the Persian Gulf region.


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