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Iran, EU to Hold Talks over Nuclear Issue Next Week
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Iranian top nuclear negotiator AliLarijani and the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will hold talks over Iran's nuclear issue next week, the official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

Larijani and Solana agreed in a phone conversation to meet next week in one of the European capital cities to hold a new round of nuclear talks, the report said.

During their conversation, the two officials exchanged views on an offer made by the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany over Iran's nuclear program and Tehran's response, IRNA said.

Larijani, who arrived in Syria in the morning on a one-day visit, underlined the importance of negotiations over the nuclear standoff.

"It is important that the negotiations go on in a constructive manner and we are continuing them with Javier Solana," Larijani said, adding, "The negotiations are continuing in order to create a climate of security and stability in the region."

The last round of talks between the two top officials took place at the Austrian Chancellor's Palace in Vienna on Sept. 9.

The United States had previously been pushing for sanctions after Iran failed to meet a UN Security Council resolution calling for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment by August 31.

IAEA chief Mohammed El Baradei has presented a report to the UN Security Council saying, "Iran has continued enriching uranium despite a UN nuclear deadline for it to suspend or face possible sanctions."

At an informal meeting in Brussels earlier this month, European Union foreign ministers decided to maintain serious talks with Tehran in efforts to solve Iran's nuclear issue through diplomacy.

(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2006)

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