Zarif says no plans to meet Pompeo in Singapore

TEHRAN, Aug. 02 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he has no plans for meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sideline of ASEAN meeting currently underway in Singapore.

Iran had nemorous meetings with Americans for two years [during the course of nuclear negotations], but the current US administration has proved that it cannot adhere to its commitments, he told IRNA on the sidelines of the ASEAN ministerial meeting in Singapore. “A meeting for meeting‘s sake is meaningless. US has to show that meetings can lead to agreements which are then sticken to.”

US should talk respectfully and know that pressure and dialog cannot happen simultaneously, he said, noting that recent US President’s call for talks is more like a propaganda than a real political move.

Elsewhere, Zarif touched upon meetings with Indonesian prime minister and also with his Philippinian, Japanses and Turkish counterparts on the sideline of the event, saying that all of the officials expressed their resolve for saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the US pullout, as well as using innovative approaches to continue their economic ties with Iran.

ASEAN summit has chosen the theme of ‘innovation and resilience’, he said, adding this theme demonstrates that unilateral policies which are against international norms have led countries to adopt measures for becoming more resilient.

Zarif went on to say that a group of countries from all continents are ready to find innovative solutions for neutralizing US pressures and help Iran in facing sanctions.

The top diplomat further said that Iran has officially joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) after having signed the pact today in Singapore.

Under this treaty, cooperation between Iran and ASEAN can be expanded more than ever, he said, adding that ASEAN is the 5th biggest economic power of the world.

TAC was signed by founding countries Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore in 1976. Other ASEAN members joined the TAC later to promote the treaty to an agenda for ASEAN member states to regulate their conduct through a general emphasis on peaceful settlement of differences and the principle of noninterference. The purpose of this Treaty is to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and cooperation among their peoples which would contribute to their strength, solidarity and closer relationship.

The signatories of the treaty extend cooperation in different fields further especially in economics and peace and stability, while respecting independence, territorial integrity and national sovereignty, equality, and national identity of member states. The Article 18 of the treaty provides the possibilities to other countries (than members) to join the treaty; two amendments to Article 18 in 1987 and 1998 were steps to centralize ASEAN in regional and international developments, and made accession by other countries provided that member states agree the accession.

In addition to 10 member states of ASEAN, 22 countries and the EU have joined the treaty. In Laos meeting in June 2016, 4 other countries joined to make it 36 members states.

MAH/IRN82989328

News Code 136333

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