Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Lausanne, Switzerland on March 15 to meet with his Iranian counterpart as part of continuing talks on Tehran`s nuclear program, the State Department said Monday.
Kerry will sit down with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for the ongoing "P5+1" nuclear talks, the State Department said, as negotiators race to beat a March 31 deadline for reaching a deal.
Talks with Iran, which have gone on for more than a year, aim to prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear arsenal. A final deal is meant to be concluded by the end of June.
Under discussion are guarantees to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb and a lifting of Western sanctions against the country.
The negotiations have included US-Iran bilateral talks as well as discussions among the P5+1: Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
The State Department said that prior to heading to Switzerland, Kerry will travel to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on March 12 to attend the Egypt Economic Development Conference.
"While in Sharm el-Sheikh, Secretary Kerry will also meet with President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi and other senior Egyptian leaders to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues, including coalition efforts against ISIL, the situation in Libya, and the ongoing crisis in Syria," the State Department said, adding that more items may be added to the agenda.
"The United States is committed to strengthening its long-term strategic and economic partnership with Egypt," the US statement said.
"We continue to work with the Egyptian government to help the Egyptian people stabilize and grow the economy, create jobs, educate young people, improve access to health care, and to help realize the aspirations of the Egyptian people for an inclusive, rights- and freedoms-respecting, and peaceful political climate."