Iranian FM: Upcoming meetings just beginning of interactions

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that his upcoming meetings with the representatives of the world powers, including his today meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, herald the start of interactions, adding that a thorough settlement of issues and problems between the two sides needs continued interaction throughout time.

“The field of foreign policy needs sobriety, patience, wisdom and well-assessed and targeted measures and the pile of problems cannot be expected to be resolved by one or some meetings,” Zarif, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly meeting, wrote in his Facebook page on Monday.

“To reach successful and sustainable solutions, the two sides should be ready for constructive interactions based on equal footing,” he added.

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The Iranian top diplomat posted the comments in his status just before his today meetings with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton (the representative of the world powers in talks with Iran) in New York.

The Iranian foreign minister is in New York to take part in the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, which will open on September 24.

The Iranian foreign minister will meet Ashton at 9:00 a.m. local time. He will then have a meeting with the British foreign secretary in the afternoon.

During a telephone conversation on August 17, Zarif and Ashton discussed different issues, including Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Earlier this month, sources disclosed that the British foreign secretary has signaled his country’s resolve to improve relations with Iran by offering talks with senior Iranian diplomats.

“Hague has offered Zarif to attend bilateral talks on the sidelines of the upcoming annual meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York,” unofficial sources said at the time.

Zarif met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Thursday.

“I had satisfactory negotiations with Mr. Ban Ki-moon and we discussed international issues, as well as Iran,” the Iranian foreign minister said on Thursday in New York.

Zarif is also slated to hold talks with foreign ministers from Greece, Holland, Australia and Japan.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also left Tehran for New York today to participate in the UN General Assembly meeting.

Iran and the world powers, including the US, have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, with the main focus being on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

The two sides wrapped up their latest round of negotiations on April 6 in the Kazakh city of Almaty. An earlier meeting had been held in the city on February 26-27.

The US, Israel and some of their allies claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose sanctions on Iran.

Tehran strongly rejects the groundless claim over its nuclear activities, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

By Fars News Agency


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