EU's Ashton calls Iran talks "constructive"
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton described Tuesday's meeting with Iran's top negotiator Saeed Jalili as “useful and constructive”, Iran's Fars news agency reported Wednesday.
“While it was not a formal negotiating round it was a useful and constructive meeting, Ashton, who represents six world powers in talks with Iran, said in a statement.
The meeting was held behind closed doors at the Iranian consulate in Istanbul, and no statements were made to the press at the beginning of the meeting which took place on Tuesday.
Described as part of ongoing efforts “to seek a diplomatic solution,” the talks followed negotiations in Moscow in June, a meeting of deputies in July, and phone calls made over the summer, Ashton's statement said.
Foreign ministers in Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany are due in New York city Sept 24 for the United Nations General Assembly's “ministerial week”.
AFP reports that Ashton plans to meet key figures during the UN talks in a bid to fast-track a diplomatic solution to Iran's political stalemate with the international community.
Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, as it manufactures nuclear facilities in the country.
Iran denies the allegations, claiming that the country has been harnessing its nuclear capacity to develop alternatives to fuel-intensive energy production. Russia has supported the argument by declaring that 'no evidence' of plans to make weapons so far exists.