Iran to reply `soon` to EU on resuming nuclear talks

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 10:29

Istanbul: Iran will respond "soon" to the
European Union on resuming nuclear talks stalled since January, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday.

"I think the response... will soon be sent by the
relevant authorities in Iran to (EU foreign policy chief
Catherine) Ashton," Ahmadinejad said on the sidelines of an
international development conference.

"We welcome the wish of the 5+1 Group to return to the
path of negotiations once again," he added, referring to the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus
Germany.

"We have always been ready for talks, and we are ready
today," he said.

Ashton, in a letter sent in early February following
the unsuccessful January talks in Istanbul, reiterated the
group`s position on Iran`s contentious nuclear issue.

According to her spokesman, she also affirmed that the
world powers were keen to continue talks with Iran without any
preconditions.

"I hope that they have realised that negotiations ...
and cooperation with the Iranian nation is more for their
benefit," Ahmadinejad said.

In Brussels, the EU said Ashton had written to Iran`s
chief nuclear talks negotiator, Saeed Jalili, offering a
resumption of talks following the failure of a breakthrough in
Istanbul.

"The terms of the letter were not made public," said a
spokeswoman for Ashton, Maja Kocijancic.

At the close of the Istanbul talks late January
between Iran and the P5+1 group, Ashton told reporters that
"it remains essential that Iran demonstrates that its nuclear
programme is peaceful."

"We had hoped to embark on a discussion of practical
ways forward, and have made every effort to make that happen.
I am disappointed to say that this has not been possible," she
added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 10:29

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