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Britain’s Johnson discusses Iran, Brexit with Germany’s Merkel

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed Iran and Brexit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Tuesday, Downing Street said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed Iran and Brexit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Tuesday, Downing Street said.

Johnson and Merkel also discussed Saturday’s attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and “the need to work together, alongside international partners, to agree on a collective response,” it said.

“On the issue of Iran, they reaffirmed their commitment to a common approach and the importance of avoiding the further escalation of tensions in the region,” it added.

Johnson told Merkel that London and Brussels have agreed to accelerate their talks on Britain leaving the European Union.

He said Britain wants to negotiate a deal that can be supported by the British parliament and avoids the “backstop” provision to protect an open Irish border, which was included in a draft deal agreed by Johnson’s predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May.

Britain will “work with energy and determination to achieve this” ahead of its planned Brexit date of October 31, Downing Street quoted Johnson as saying.

Merkel and Johnson will discuss the same issues on the sidelines of next week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, it said.

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