August 26, 2019 / 11:15 AM / 3 months ago

Merkel welcomes G7 progress on seeking Iran solution

French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Italy's acting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pose for a family photo with invited guests during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Pool

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday G7 leaders had taken a big step forward in their efforts to avoid an escalation of tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.

All the G7 leaders agreed not only that Iran should not have nuclear weapons but also that negotiations were the right way to achieve that goal, Merkel said, adding that the United States had welcomed European talks with Iran.

“What the outcome will be, what possibilities open up, we can’t say today,” she said of the talks. “But the firm will to talk is already a big step forward.”

“We all have a big interest in a peaceful solution to such a conflict, but it won’t be easy,” Merkel added, speaking to reporters after meeting leaders from the G7 economic powers.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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