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Solana: Door Remains Open for Talks with Iran
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European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Tuesday in Luxemburg that the door remains open for the formal talks with Iran over nuclear issue.

"The door remains open for formal talks," Solana told a press conference after the EU foreign ministers' meeting, at which the ministers had discussed the Iranian nuclear issue.

"There is nothing, nothing new (about the Iranian nuclear issue)," said Solana, adding that he made a phone conversation with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani just on Monday.
However, Solana stressed that the obstacles hindering the formal talks between the EU and Iran remain.

"For the time being, the formal talks can not achieved," he added.

Solana urged the Iranian leadership to take decision to remove the obstacles.

On the same day, the EU foreign ministers adopted a statement on Iran, saying that Iran's continuation of enrichment related activities has left the EU no choice but to support consultations on sanctions.

The statement said the proposals presented by Solana on Jun. 6 as a basis for a long-term agreement are "far-reaching" and would "give Iran everything it needs to develop a modern civil nuclear power industry while addressing international concerns."

"They would open the way for a new relationship with Iran based on mutual respect and expanded cooperation in political and economic fields," said the statement.

The EU ministers also expressed deep concern that Iran has not yet suspended its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

They reiterated that if Iran did not comply with the Security Council's requirements, the EU would "work for the adoption of measures under Article 41 of the UN Charter," which stipulates economic and diplomatic sanctions.

However, the EU ministers, just like Solana, also noted that "the door to negotiations nevertheless remained open."

They reaffirmed its commitment to a negotiated solution.

"Such a solution would contribute to the development of the EU's relations with Iran. It urged Iran to take the positive path on offer," said the statement.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2006)


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