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EU, Iran to resume Trade and Cooperation Agreement negotiations in January

Brussels, Dec 21, IRNA -- The European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran are to resume negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in Brussels on January 12, EU sources told IRNA Tuesday.

The TCA negotiations were suspended after four rounds in June 2003 following the EU concerns about Iran's nuclear programme.

The TCA negotiations which are being conducted by the European Commission on behalf of the EU were launched on December 12, 2002.

Last week, EU leaders in a summit in Brussels gave the final approval to resume the TCA negotiations after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November verified that Iran has voluntarily suspended uranium enrichment activities.

The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog also said that it found no evidence Iran was making nuclear weapons.

The EU and Iran signed a deal in Paris in November on the nuclear issue after 14 months of intensive diplomacy carried out by the three major EU members, Germany, France and the UK with the support of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

On December 13, foreign ministers of the EU3 and Solana met Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, in Brussels and the two sides agreed to resume the TCA and also launch talks on long-term economic, political and security cooperation.

... Payvand News - 12/21/04 ... --

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