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8/31/04

EU FMs to discuss ways to improve ties with Iran

Brussels, Aug 31, IRNA -- EU foreign ministers in their informal meeting at the weekend will discuss the 25-member European bloc's ties with the Islamic Republic.

"The discussion on Iran will focus on the way forward for the EU's relations with this country, taking advantage of recent contacts of a number of EU Foreign Ministers with that country,'' said a statement issued by the current Dutch EU Presidency Tuesday.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot has invited his EU colleagues to Chateau St. Gerlach , near Maastricht, on 3 and 4 September for their six-monthly informal meeting (the so-called Gymnich meeting).

The afternoon session on Friday will be devoted to the Middle East, Iraq and Iran.

With regard to the Middle East peace process, the EU Foreign Ministers will explore ways for the EU to stimulate progress with the implementation of the Israeli withdrawal plans from the Gaza Strip, and to see whether the EU could be included in this process.

As for Iraq, Bot will brief his colleagues on his recent talks in Baghdad and on the preliminary findings of the exploratory mission which visited Iraq on 29 August.

The 2-day meeting will discuss ASEM enlargement, the crisis in Sudan/Darfur and the situation in the Balkans.

EU Foreign Ministers will also meet with partners from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and hold a working lunch with their colleagues from the EU Candidate Member States, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia on Saturday.

... Payvand News - 8/31/04 ... --



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