Date: 4 January 2016 07:37
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in a phone call called for reduction of tension in the region following angry protests to the execution of a Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al Nimr by the Saudi regime and implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Irna reported.
'No effort should be spared by all parties to keep the situation under control and to avoid sectarian tensions to escalate, they agreed,' according to a press release issued by the EU External Action Service (EAAS) on Sunday.
'The security and stability of the whole Region, that is already facing great threats, is at stake,' underlined Mogherini.
'The international community and the main regional actors are actively working together to support a political solution for the crisis in Syria and to join forces against terrorists groups, and these efforts should not be jeopardized by new instability.'
Mogherini and Zarif 'also discussed the ongoing work towards implementation day (of nuclear agreement) and took stock of the important progress made so far.'
A separate EAAS press release said Mogherini in a phone call with the Saudi Foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir voiced her concern over the Saturday executions in Saudi Arabia, including that of Sheikh al-Nimr.
During the conversation, it said, Mogherini 'reiterated the opposition of the European Union to the death penalty in all circumstances.' 'She expressed her concern for the risk of an escalation of sectarian violence in the Muslim world.'
'The specific case of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr raises serious concerns regarding freedom of expression and the respect of basic civil and political rights, to be safeguarded in all cases, also in the framework of the fight against terrorism.
This case has also the potential of enflaming further the sectarian tensions that already bring so much damage to the entire region, with dangerous consequences,' Mogherini said in a statement on Saturday.
'The EU calls on the Saudi authorities to promote reconciliation between the different communities in the Kingdom, and all actors to show restraint and responsibility,' read the statement.
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