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2 February 2020 HR/VP Josep Borrell’s first visit to the Middle East

In his first visit to the Middle East as High Representative and Vice-President, Josep Borrell met with Iranian authorities in Tehran and with Jordanian authorities in Amman to discuss recent regional developments. After his meeting with the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Borrell recognised Jordan’s key role in stabilising the region, in particular with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The two representatives expressed their commitment to a two-state solution and to international law, and Borrell added that “without agreement among all sides, no peace plan has the chance to succeed”. Following his visit to Jordan, Borrell went to Iran for a two-day trip with the aim of decreasing tensions and finding opportunities for political solutions to the current crisis. The country has been facing a severe recession since the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the re-imposition of economic sanctions from Washington. During his meeting with President Hassan Rouhani, together with the Speaker of the Majlis Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the High Representative highlighted the importance of preserving and implementing the nuclear deal by all sides. In addition, he emphasized the need for a stronger cooperation between Iran and the EU on issues of common interest, a point that will be further discussed in the framework of the EU-Iran High-Level Dialogue in March 2020.