0157 GMT December 16, 2019
Following a surprise visit to G7 summit town, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.
Zarif landed on Sunday in the French seaside town of Biarritz, where leaders of the G7 nations – the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan – were meeting to discuss a host of issues, including global trade, climate change and Iran's nuclear agreement.
Zarif immediately went into a three-and-a-half-hour meeting with French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, according to Reuters News Agency. He spent half an hour with France's President Emmanuel Macron at the sidelines of the G7 summit.
"Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues," Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account. "Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."
An official in Macron's office told AFP the discussions were "positive".
Macron, the host of this year's G7 summit, has been leading efforts to defuse tensions triggered by US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an internationally-brokered deal that offered Iran relief from global sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
After the unilateral exit, Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran, including on its oil and banking sectors.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that Iran’s foreign minister travelled to Biarritz at the invitation of his French counterpart.
Mousavi highlighted that no meeting or negotiations have been planned between Iran’s top diplomat and American officials during his stay in the French city.
The visit came days after Iran’s foreign minister returned home from a tour to four European countries.
European leaders have struggled to calm a deepening confrontation between Iran and the US since Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iran.