Jalili, Solana call Geneva talks ‘constructive’

TEHRAN, July 19 (MNA) – Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called nuclear talks ‘constructive’ and agreed to resume negotiations in two weeks after Tehran ruled out freezing its uranium enrichment program in talks that included the United States for the first time.

"The meeting was constructive, but we didn't get still the answer we were looking for," Solana told reporters after talks in Geneva.


Jalili also described the talks as ‘constructive and progressing’ in comments to reporters afterwards.


Jalili added that "on the manner of continuing the negotiations we have understood better our mutual positions."


Iran’s top negotiator asked that Western powers not turn away from negotiations.


"Iran is calling on the Western powers to resume the dialogue," AFP quoted him as saying.


U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns was present in talks, but did not speak publicly. Washington's participation at the talks — the first instance of the Americans attending such meetings — had led to hopes of compromise.


Iran’s uranium enrichment program has been the main bone contention between Iran and the West. Iran, as a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, is legally entitled to enrich uranium for civilian purposes.


Solana said the Iranian team did not accept a halt to enrichment suspension.


"I hope to have an answer to that and other questions in two weeks' time," Reuters quoted Solana as saying.


The Sunday talks followed the submission of a renewed package to Iran in mid-June which is intended to persuade Tehran to stop its enrichment work in exchange for some trade and technological incentives.


There had been a response from Tehran to the package in the form of a letter, but "we have not got a clear answer to the most important issue that we sent in the document called 'The Way Forward'," Solana said.


Resuming talks


Solana and Jalili agreed to resume talks in two weeks. 


Solana said the two would speak either by telephone or personally.








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