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Rice to Visit Europe over Iran's Issue
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Germany, France and Britain between March 29 and April 2, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Monday.

During the trip, "she will consult with key European allies on the range of common challenges, including Iran, the United States is addressing with its transatlantic partners," McCormack said.

Rice's trip to Berlin and Paris will provide an opportunity for her to continue her dialogue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Jacques Chirac and other top officials, he said.

It was generally believed that Rice's trip to European allies will focus, among other things, on Iran's nuclear issue.

The United States has been trying to reach an agreement with other four permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, France, China and Russia -- and Germany on a statement that would express the Security Council's worries about Iran's nuclear program.

"We are continuing to work the language. We obviously haven't come to a consensus on language yet," McCormack said.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, and the EU also holds that Iran's full mastery of nuclear fuel cycle technology would possibly lead to military usage.

Iran, however, rejects the allegation as politically motivated, insisting that its nuclear program is fully peaceful and aimed at meeting rising domestic demand for electricity.

(Xinhua News Agency March 28, 2006)

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