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News number: 9101140911

10:29 | 2012-04-09

Foriegn Policy

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EU Official Confirms Report on Resumption of Talks with Iran in Istanbul

TEHRAN (FNA)- EU foreign policy officials Sunday evening confirmed earlier reports in Tehran that the two sides have agreed to resume negotiations in a new round of meetings in Istanbul.

Sources told FNA yesterday afternoon that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) have eventually accepted to resume their talks in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 14 and in case of good progress hold a second round of talks in Iraq's capital city of Baghdad.

Later in the day, a spokesperson of the European Union (EU) confirmed the report, saying that a new round of negotiation between Iran and the world powers will be held on April 14 in Istanbul.

"We hope that this first round will produce a conducive environment for concrete progress," Michael Mann, a spokesman for the EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a written communication Sunday.

"We are of course aiming at a sustained process," he added.

Sources also told FNA yesterday that the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad will be the second host to the Iran-powers talks in case of progress in the first round of negotiations in Istanbul.

The last meeting between the two sides took place in Istanbul in January 2011. Iran and the G5+1 had also held two rounds of multifaceted talks in Geneva in December 2010.

The Iranian team of negotiators is led by Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili, while delegations of the six world powers are headed by EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton. The deputies of Jalili and Ashton were in charge of discussions over the date and venue of the talks.

The announcement came after diplomatic sources told FNA Thursday evening that Iran has rejected repeated offers by the western side to hold the next round of talks with the world powers in European countries.

The sources said Ashton had named several European countries, including Norway, Switzerland and Austria, for holding the talks with Iran, but the Iranian side rejected Ashton's offers, stressing that it was not interested in attending the talks in these countries.