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EU ministers move on regional security, reaffirm Iran deal

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Jens Stoltenberg

Ironically, the German foreign minister had wanted to demonstrate that the European Union was capable of rapid response when it came to foreign policy.

As well as representatives from large U.S. companies which have bases in Ireland, the minister will also meet USA treasury secretary Jack Lew and officials from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

While the European Union foreign ministers were in their meeting, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also expressed his views on the EU's recent progress report on Turkey with similar terms Johnson had used, saying that "The aim of the report is to push Turkey into a corner". Austria΄s Sebastian Kurz, meanwhile, also called the meetings premature, preferring to wait until Trump was in office before making any policy decisions.

The emergency dinner gathering was a measure of how suddenly the U.S. -Europe relationship has been cast into disarray by the election of a man most European leaders openly campaigned against. The president-elect has suggested that Washington could abandon its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commitments, which include mutual defense in case of attack.

"We're getting excited about an extremely powerful partnership with the next [US] government", European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

Noting EU defense activities that are already operating, like anti-smuggling operations and United Nations peacekeeping, she said, "We have a lot of potential that we don't utilize yet. First of all, the need to work on the multilateral system, for us it's extremely important to work on the climate change agreement implementation", she said. "It's what our citizens need".

But they said they would work speedily to deepen contacts with the Trump transition team and seek out Trump's foreign policy ideas and plans.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor glossed over her foreign ministers warning that the world would become "more difficult" under Mr Trump, issuing a statement saying that Germany would co-operate on the basis of "shared values" of demoracy.

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Stoltenberg urged Trump to realize that the West is facing its greatest security challenge in a generation.

Will Trump reimpose sanctions against Iran, effectively abandoning nuclear deal?

It includes lifting "nuclear related economic and financial sanctions and engaging with the private sector and economic operators, especially banks, to promote growth in trade and investment".

Q. Do comments by Donald Trump on European defence give your defence agenda a push forward and what are your worries over Iran deal?

His comments came as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members scrambled to understand how the Trump administration plans to deal with and support the 67-year-old military alliance.

Johnsons refusal to attend will add to an already hard relationship with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has told colleagues that he can not bear to be in the same room as the British foreign secretary.

"It's not up to us... it's up to the next USA administration to define their own position", she said following the two-and-a-half hour meeting.

"I think the debate at the moment is to see how Europe can strengthen its voice in the world". Europe has been able to maintain unity on its own anti-Kremlin sanctions in part because of US pressure, so a shift in Washington could give balky countries such as Italy and Hungary fresh license to object to renewal of the measures.

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