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France’s Le Drian Says Talks to Ease Gulf Tension Still Possible

Gregory Viscusi

(Bloomberg) -- France isn’t giving up on getting the U.S. and Iran to dial back their mutual hostility, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

While prospects for talks looked good after the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz in August, last week’s attacks on Saudi oil installations, continued Iranian violations of the 2015 nuclear accord and increased U.S. sanctions “have made the situation much more serious,” Le Drian said Sunday.

“The question is can we re-establish dialog,” Le Drian said at a press conference in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly. “It is still possible.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet Monday afternoon at the UN to discuss Iran. Later in the day, Macron will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Macron may also meet U.S. President Donald Trump, though that’s not confirmed, French officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil fields. Le Drian declined to say who should be blamed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in New York at gviscusi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Tony Czuczka

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