Iran News ...


2/5/03

Patten: It is possible to build bridges

Tehran, Feb 5, IRNA -- The EU Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten expressed the hope Wednesday that both Tehran and washington would see a model in developing Iran-EU relations on how different societies could cooperate.

Patten who was replying to a question on the role EU could play in bringing closer the Tehran-Washington viewpoints added: "A great deal rides on our own relationship.

"But we have to make this work. If we do not make it work, there could be those in Iran and those in Washington who say - see it is impossible to these bridges.

Talking to IRNA, Patten stressed: "But I think it is possible to build the bridges."

The EU Commissioner for External Relations noted that Iran and EU should try to promote bilateral relations.

In response to a question on whether the independent countries could rely on EU in this unipolar world, he said they believed passionately in a multi-polar, multilateral world in international cooperation and in finding international solutions to problems.

"Of course there are some countries which are more powerful than the others but even the most powerful countries in the world have to work with the international community in order to deal with the problems which represent the dark side of globalization."

He said that the European Union was the most extraordinary example of nation-states sharing sovereignty.

"We have not lost our identity in the enterprise, the French are as French as they have always been and the British are as British. We have created an extraordinary degree of political and economic integration and we think this makes us in trade, economic and political spheres a good partner for other countries."

Patten arrived here Monday on a 3-day visit for the second round of negotiations between Iran and the European Union on mutual trade and cooperation agreement.

The EU commissioner held talks with President Mohammad Khatami, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, head of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi and the head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Majlis, Mohsen Mirdamadi.

His talks with Iranian official focussed on trade and cooperation agreement, Iraqi crisis, human rights and the Palestine plight.

He also paid a visit to the historical city of Isfahan on Tuesday. Pattern left for Tehran for Ankara Wednesday.

Patten: EU ready to engage with Iran

Tehran, Feb 5, IRNA -- EU Commissioner for external relations, Chris Patten, said here Wednesday the EU is ready to engage with Iran, not just for the benefit of the two sides but because they were convinced that many others could benefit too.

Patten who arrived here monday on a 3-day visit made the remark in his speech entitled "An opportunity to embrace the family of nations" at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) of the foreign ministry.

"The benefits of a productive relationship between Iran and the EU are potentially enormous, for both parties.

"Not least among our purposes is the desire to assist and encourage Iran to realise its full potential on the international stage. We wish to help foster that adaptation, while respecting the value of continuity.

He added that whether Iran was ready to shoulder an enlarged international responsibility was "a crutical question that of course rests with the Iranian people and its Leadership."

He noted that he was here to "encourage and not to impose or insist on a given path for Iran."

Quoting the Iranian officials as saying that open dialogue was prerequisite for good relations, the key to finding positive and coopertive ways forward, he said Iran and the EU have sought to build a comprehensive dialogue since 1998.

"This is now entering a new phase, where in order to progress, it must become more dynamic, and deliver more concrete results."

Patten's visit to Iran is his second after last year's trip of EU Troika delegation. Patten arrived here for the second round of negotiations between Iran and the European Union on mutual trade and cooperation agreement.

The EU commissioner held talks with President Mohammad Khatami, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, head of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi and the head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Majlis, Mohsen Mirdamadi.

His talks with Iranian official focussed on trade and cooperation agreement, Iraqi crisis, human rights and the Palestine plight.

He also paid a visit to the historical city of Isfahan on Tuesday. Pattern left for Tehran for Ankara Wednesday.

... Payvand News - 2/5/03 ... --



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