Iran News ...


4/10/03

EU-Iran political dialogue in Brussels enters second round

European Union and Iranian officials began the second round of political dialogue in Brussels Thursday morning, IRNA reported from Brussels.

Issues like the fight against terrorism, non-proliferation, human rights and the Middle East conflict are expected to be discussed at the two-day meeting.

Ibrahim Rahimpour, director general of West European desk in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, is heading the Iranian delegation, while the political director in the Greek Foreign Ministry, Ilias Klis, is leading of the EU side.

Greece currently holds the rotating EU Presidency.

The first round of the political dialogue was held in Tehran in December, spokesman for the Greek EU Presidency, Roussos Koundouros, told IRNA.

The spokesman said the aim of the political dialogue is to promote regular contacts between the EU and Iran on political issues.

Meanwhile, the third session of negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Iran ended in Brussels Wednesday evening with both sides expressing satisfaction at the outcome of the two-day talks.

Issues covered included cooperation against drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal migration, science and technology and cultural cooperation between the 15-member European bloc and the Islamic Republic.

Official says Iran holds "constructive" negotiations with EU

Iran's chief negotiator to a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU said Wednesday that both sides are serious to strike a deal.

''The session was quite businesslike . We were both serious in our negotiations. We tried to be informative to each other to clear ambiguities and at the same time both sides tired to be constructive as both sides have decided to work together to strike a deal on TCA,'' said Kia Tabatabaii, Director General of Economy in Iran's foreign ministry.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA after the end of the 2-day negotiations in Brussels Wednesday evening, he said topics covered included trade services, intellectual property rights, tariff barriers to trade, combating drug trafficking and money laundering, science and technology and culture cooperation .

''Both sides positions were very much close to each other ,'' he said.

Tabatabaii noted that there was no time frame within which the negotiations have to be concluded.

''We do our best to have the talks on regular intervals,'' he told IRNA.

The next round of TCA negotiations between the EU and Iran are expected to be held in Tehran in about two months time.

The EU negotiating team was headed by the Commission's chief negotiator Christian Leffler.

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.

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, culture.

EU says negotiations with Iran "constructive and promising"

European Union and Iranian negotiators ended two days of negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in Brussels Wednesday evening on a promising note.

''The talks were very constructive and businesslike. We think that progress made is promising,'' European Commission sources told IRNA.

Issues discussed during the third session of TCA negotiations included trade, cooperation against drug trafficking, money laundering, re-admission agreement for refuges, cooperation in science and technology and culture between the 15-member European bloc and the Islamic Republic.

''Our Iranian partners were very open and constructive,'' said the sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

The EU and Iran have a shared interest in working together in combatting drug trafficking as Iran is transit route to Europe, said the sources.

On trade, the two sides discussed a whole range of issues such as tariff structures, trade and services, market access, etc.

''The spirit behind it is how to help Iran to make its structures compatible with WTO regulations. Iran is aspiring to become a WTO member and if it has structures compatible with the WTO it would help Iran towards that goal and also help in strengthening ties with the EU,'' noted the sources.

The atmosphere in the session was ''very open and constructive,'' added the sources.

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

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.

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, culture.

A parallel political dialogue that includes issues like the fight against terrorism, non-proliferation, human rights and the Middle East conflict will be held in Brussels on Thursday.

It will be the second round of political dialogue, the first being held in Tehran in December.

The EU side to the 2-day talks will be led by political director in the Greek foreign ministry Ilias Klis. Greece currently holds the EU Presidency.

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

... Payvand News - 4/10/03 ... --



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