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US, Iran are individualistic countries, ball is in their court: Jaishankar on tensions in Gulf region

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New Delhi | January 15, 2020 1:41:21 PM IST
Amid heightened tensions in the Middle East region, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday spoke about the current state of relations between the United States and Iran, saying they are two "individualistic countries" with a recent history of dealing with each other and that they need to resolve their issues at the earliest.

"US and Iran are two individualistic countries with a very recent history of dealing with each other. Our issues are related to happenings in that part of the world. This is enormously important. But at the end of the day, the ball is in their court," he said at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 when talking about the latest developments in the Middle East region.

The remarks by Jaishankar come at a time when global attention is focused on the simmering tensions in the Middle East post the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by a Pentagon-ordered drone attack in Baghdad earlier this month, which has further strained ties between Washington and Tehran.

India has been maintaining that it would like the situation to de-escalate as soon as possible and the country has been in touch with key players including Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar as it has important interests in the region.

Last week, Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces' are stationed in Iraq.

Soleimani's killing led to a dramatic escalation of tension between the US and Iran which was already strained after Washington exited from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2018.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar underlined that the world has common challenges including terrorism, separatism, and migration.

"The world has common challenges. Terrorism is a common challenge. Separatism is a common challenge. Migration is a common challenge. The world has to ask itself how do they handle these challenges. Don't get fixated on the dots and ignore the line," he said.

The External Affairs Minister also said that India is among the countries which have adhered to the commitments of the Paris Agreement. "US and Russia are among those who are ranked lowest on the climate tracker," he said.

He also said that there is a "lot of headroom" to boost ties with the countries in Europe.

"The relationship where we are under-performing is with Europe. We still deal a lot with individual states. But collectively with Europe and some smaller states there is tremendous scope for our relationship to grow...a lot of headroom out there," Jaishankar said. (ANI)

 
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