Iran denies failure in reaching n-deal with powers

Iran is determined to continue nuclear talks with the world powers to reach a conclusion, Iranian foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Tehran:Iran is determined to continue nuclear talks with the world powers to reach a conclusion, Iranian foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"The Islamic republic will continue the talks to safeguard its nuclear rights, and it is serious in this regard," Xinhua quoted Marzieh Afkham, a spokeswoman of the ministry said in her weekly press conference.

The comments that the recent nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group have failed to reach a conclusion were "hasty and inaccurate", she said.

The negotiations are in their "natural course", and "it was predictable that the discussions will be serious and time-taking", she added.

Talks over Iran`s nuclear issue are "complicated, serious and transparent," she said, adding that the Iranian negotiating team has been "smart and professional" in the talks and their aim is to "guarantee the nuclear rights of Iran through balanced and equal steps".

The ongoing negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program will lead to a final agreement despite differences between Iran and the world powers, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday.

The fourth round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, including China, France, Russia, Britain and the US, plus Germany, ended Friday in Vienna without tangible progress.

Biden starts Romania tour with Ukraine crisis on agenda

Bucharest:The NATO nations are never alone, US Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday, soon after his arrival in Bucharest for a two-day visit.

Romania has always been a reliable partner and ally for the United States, and "currently Romania helps us with the air base which supports our effort for transport to Afghanistan", Xinhua quoted Biden as saying at the 90th Air Transport Base, the first place he visited after arrival.

Biden arrived in Bucharest Tuesday afternoon for a visit and is to conduct meetings with President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta. The discussions with Romanian authorities will focus on, according to the White House, the reaction of Ukraine crisis.

Talking about the regional situation, the American official stressed that "Europe`s borders should not be changed by force".

Crimean issue "reminds us why we need NATO", he said, emphasising that the US was devoted to the NATO, and "We`ll do what we say and fulfill our obligations".

Romania`s Defense Minister Mircea Dusa, who received the U.S. vice president at the air base in northern suburb of Bucharest, said the situation in Ukraine continued to stir worries among NATO allies, particularly in the countries making up the eastern flank of NATO.

"We believe the NATO summit meeting to be hosted by Wales will be an opportunity for commitments to be reiterated in the context of the reassurance of the allies on the eastern flank," said Dusa.


Sikh-Americans raise USD 330K for needy students in Punjab

Washington:A US-based Sikh body has raised USD 3,30,000 to fund scholarships for bright but poor students to acquire higher education in Punjab.

Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF) organised a fund raising programme which was attended by Sikh-Americans from across the US. The chief guest of the event, Surender Singh Kandhari, a Dubai-based business tycoon, announced a donation of USD 1,00,000.

"Education is the most important treasure that any young man can possess and we are privileged to be in a position to help those in need in Punjab. It is our duty to do so. Good education helps in breaking the cycle of poverty. Giving is a virtue and it is a blessing that we are being asked to give," he said.

"This is also the largest donation ever received by the diaspora community for higher education for students in Punjab. In Indian rupees, this is a little over two crores. And this certainly will have a significant impact on the future of Punjab," said Dr Rajwant Singh, outreach director of the Foundation.

The foundation has so far provided 3,418 scholarships, including 537 for the current academic year.

"More than 1,100 of these children have already graduated and become doctors, engineers, scientists, computer, experts and the like. Many are working in companies like IBM, Microsoft, Infosys, Indian Space Center and other good companies," said foundation`s chairman Gajinder Singh Ahuja.

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