Middle East News
Geneva likely venue for fresh Iran talks, says Ashton
Nov 22, 2010, 16:38 GMT
Brussels - Long-awaited talks between the international community and Iran over the country's nuclear programme are 'likely' to take place in Geneva, the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday.
Ashton is negotiating on behalf of the so-called '5+1' group: the five permanent United Nations security council members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) and Germany.
'We are looking for venues, Geneva seems to be more likely,' she told reporters ahead of a regular talks in Brussels with EU foreign ministers.
Both sides are committed to restart the negotiations - the first in more than a year - on December 5. But the venue remains to be determined: Iran had suggested Tehran, while the EU offered Geneva or Vienna.
Ashton stressed that nothing had been decided yet.
'We hear a lot informally, we need to hear something formally,' she indicated.
Iran says its uranium-enrichment programme is purely meant for energy generation, but the West fears it is designed to build a nuclear bomb. The United Nations security council has hit Iran with several rounds of sanctions because of its programme.
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