German FM seeks talks on US-Iran face-off

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said he wants to seek talks with both Iran and key international partners to ease tensions following the US airstrike which killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

“In the coming days, we will do all we can to work against a further escalation of the situation — at the United Nations, in the EU, and in a dialogue with our partners in the region, including talks with Iran,” Maas told the Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

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Iran has vowed revenge in the wake of the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

Maas said the situation had become “more unpredictable.”

“Everyone must be aware that any provocation could now lead to an uncontrollable spiral of violence, with unforeseeable consequences for the entire region and also for our security in Europe,” the German official asserted.

Maas also mentioned three goals. “First: avoid a war-like escalation. Second: preserve Iraq’s stability and integrity and third: make sure that ISIS (the terrorist militia Islamic State) does not gain ground again in the slipstream of these upheavals.”

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According to Maas, there is currently no acute danger for German tourists in the Gulf region: “So far, there have been no concrete threats against Germans in the main travel areas there,” he said. “But the situation in the region has become more volatile.”

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