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Solana: EU ready to deepen ties with Iran

Brussels, Jan 25, IRNA -- EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana praised Iran's decision to suspend uranium enrichment as a "positive step" and underlined the European bloc's desire to boost relations with the Islamic Republic.

"In the area of non-proliferation, the case of Iran will continue to get a lot of attention. As you know, Iran has committed itself in the Paris Agreement of November 2004 to maintain an indefinite suspension of uranium enrichment. This was without doubt a positive step, but now we need to shore up this agreement," said Solana while speaking at a German think-tank, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, in Brussels Monday night.

The EU foreign policy chief, addressing the topic "Shaping an effective EU foreign policy," noted that in mid-January the EU resumed its negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Iran.

"We are ready to deepen our ties with Iran, economically and politically," he said, but added that "full cooperation by Iran with the IAEA and objective guarantees on the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear activities are needed for this cooperation between the EU and Iran to continue."

Solana's remarks comes at a time when polemical rhetoric from Washington against Iran has increased with the US president not ruling out military aggression against the Islamic Republic.

Referring to the Palestine question, Solana said that with the democratic elections in Palestine which gave a strong mandate to President Mahmud Abbas and the arrival of a new Israeli government, there was "a great opportunity to revive the long-stalled peace process."

Earlier, speaking in the European Parliament in Brussels, Solana, referring to the resumption of EU-Iran negotiations, said "the first meeting has already taken place."

"We hope that Iran will give us some guarantees of its peaceful aim," he added.

Commenting on the upcoming elections in Iraq, Solana told the EP Foreign Relations Committee he did not think that Iraq could be stable if Sunnis do not participate in the political process.

"If there were no Sunni representative, it would be a catastrophe," warned Solana.

... Payvand News - 1/25/05 ... --

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