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EU, Iran resume trade and cooperation negotiations

Brussels, Jan 12, IRNA -- European Union and Iranian negotiators resumed talks in Brussels Wednesday morning on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the 25-member European bloc and the Islamic Republic.

Kia Tabatabai, director--general of the economic desk at the Iranian Foreign Ministry is leading the Iranian side at the fifth round of TCA negotiations.

The EU team is led by Christian Leffler, head of the Middle East and North Africa Department in the European Commission.

TCA negotiations were initially launched in Brussels on December 12 2002. The fourth round of talks took place in Tehran on June 2-3, 2003.

The talks had taken a pause since then due to EU concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

The decision to resume TCA negotiations follows the Paris Agreement between Iran and the United Kingdom, France and Germany and Iran's suspension of its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a resolution issued in November 2004.

The negotiation and conclusion of the agreement will help develop economic exchanges and cooperation between the EU and Iran.

European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero- Waldner said Tuesday that "the resumption of these negotiations is a clear signal of our wish to work with Iran."

In parallel, negotiations within the context of the EU-Iran political dialogue will be held in Brussels on Thursday.

The political dialogue covers four main issues: human rights, regional security in the Middle East, the fight against terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

... Payvand News - 1/12/05 ... --

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