States should not backtrack on agreements: Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The Turkish foreign minister said on May 9 that states must not backtrack from the agreements they have signed, referring to the recent U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
“States must stand by the agreements they have signed. If they do, all international agreements of the past could be ignored suddenly one day,” Çavuşoğlu said at a joint news conference with his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevicius in Ankara.
He also said Ankara is “ready to do its part” to find common ground on the issue.
On May 8, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5 1 group of nations (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany).
Acting ahead of a May 12 deadline, Trump opted not to extend sanctions relief on Iran, re-imposing nuclear-related economic penalties on the Islamic republic.
The 2015 deal had placed unprecedented restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Trump had roundly criticized the agreement in 2016 during his electoral campaign, calling it the “worst deal” he had ever seen.
Other members of the P5 1, for their part, say the agreement in its current form represents the best way to reign in Iran’s nuclear program.
Trump’s move has sparked a range of reactions, with some countries welcoming it and others condemning it.
Also speaking on bilateral relations, Çavuşoğlu said Lithuania has always given the strongest support to Turkey in its relations with the EU.
“We want the tolerance in Lithuania to be an example for other European countries,” he added.
Çavuşoğlu said trade volume between the two countries increased by 50 percent in 2017 compared with 2016 and reached $800 million.
“This led us to increase our targets,” he said.
Linkevicius said they view Turkey as a very important partner of the EU and the two ministers had discussed ways to boost economic relations.
The two ministers also had a warm discussion on basketball and the forthcoming match between Turkish team Fenerbahce and Lithuanian team Zalgiris Kaunas in the Euroleague Final Four.