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EU says dialogue process with Iran going well

Brussels, April 7, IRNA -- The process of EU's engagement and dialogue with Iran is ''progressing well,'' European Commission sources in Brussels told IRNA Monday.

Relations with Iran is ''an important part of our policy in the region,'' said the sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

The third round of EU-Iran negotiations on a trade and cooperation (TCA) agreement that begins in Brussels Tuesday will cover detailed discussions on issues related with justice and home affairs and science and technology.

The first two rounds of TCA talks discussed the general outlines of the negotiations, said the sources.

Justice and home affairs includes issues like combatting drug trafficking, money laundering and illegal migration.

The science and technology talks are aimed at establishing durable links between the scientific communities and cultural cooperation.

''There is a very strong interest that we build contact with scientific societies and promote cultural dialogue,'' added the sources.

The second round of political dialogue between the two sides will take place in Brussels on Thursday.

The European Commission will lead the TCA negotiations, while current Greek EU Presidency will lead on political questions.

The negotiating team of the Commission will be headed by chief negotiator Christian Leffler, with Kia Tabatabaii, Director General of Economy in Iran's foreign ministry, as his counterpart.

Ibrahim Rahimpour, director general of West European desk in the Iranian foreign ministry, will head the delegation during the two-day political dialogue.

The first round of TCA talks between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran was held in Brussels in December and the second round in Tehran in February.

A parallel political dialogue that includes issues like the fight against terrorism, non-proliferation and Palestinian question was held in December.

The TCA aims at establishing a contractual base to govern trade between the EU and Iran and develop closer cooperation between the two sides in economic and other areas such as energy, transport, drugs control, and culture.

... Payvand News - 4/7/03 ... --

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