Germany sets terms for normalizing relations with Assad

NEW YORK — On the sidelines of the high-level U.N. General Assembly held in New York last week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, in an interview with Al-Arabi al-Jadeed newspaper, announced Germany’s conditions for normalizing relations with the Syrian regime, saying that they are committed to rejecting reconstruction in Syria without a sincere political process under the umbrella of the United Nations.

Maas noted that giving the Assad regime international legitimacy at this stage would make the regime less willing to participate constructively in the political process.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, Maas stressed that the U.S. has lost the right to initiate the resumption of the U.N. embargo against Tehran, citing its withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran.

According to Maas, Germany, France, and Britain were committed to maintaining and fully implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which only allowed those states to notify the U.N. Security Council.

Maas stressed that U.S. had withdrawn from the agreement in 2018, thereby losing the right to initiate the resumption of the renewal of the United Nations embargo against Iran.

The European Union embargo against Iran would remain as high as the action plan would allow and would remain in force until 2023.