Any negotiation is a step forward: Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN, July 20 (MNA) – President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on Sunday described Geneva talks between Iran and the European diplomats as a step towards ending the nuclear standoff.

Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana held talks in Geneva on Saturday over ending Iran’s long-running nuclear standoff with the West.


“Any negotiation that takes place is a step forward for us,” Ahmadinejad told reporters.


“Yesterday’s (Saturday) negotiation is regarded as one of these forward-moving negotiations,” Ahmadinejad added.


U.S. senior diplomat Williams Burns for the first time attended the talks which marked the highest-ranking meeting between the two countries in three decades.


Also present were representatives from the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.


China, Russia, Britain, the United States, France and Germany last month presented Iran with a revised package of incentives in return for a halt in Tehran’s uranium enrichment activities.


The package which is a follow-up of an original proposal in 2006, offers nuclear cooperation and wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology, and agriculture.


Iran has also presented its own package of proposals on resolving international challenges including the threat of nuclear proliferation and has said it has found common ground between the two separate packages.


Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected calls for a halt in Tehran’s uranium enrichment work and have expressed readiness to talk “only on common points”.



Talks on common points


Top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili held separate talks in Geneva on Sunday with the Russian representative in the nuclear negotiations.


Jalili told Sergei Kislyak that new talks between the two sides should focus on the common points between the two packages of proposals.


Kislyak reasserted Russian position that Iran’s nuclear dispute must be resolved through negotiations. Any action against Iran outside the framework of international law would be untrustworthy, he added.


China apposes unlawful actions against Iran


In a separate meeting with Jalili, Chinese representative in Geneva talks said Beijing believes that the international community should find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear dispute.


Bejing is opposed to any action outside international law, he asserted.


Jalili said Iran is seriously pursuing the negotiations and demands that the two sides focus on common viewpoints in order to find ways to settle the nuclear row.





News Code 29023

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