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EU, Iran to hold political, trade negotiations in Tehran

Brussels, May 18, IRNA-Officials from the European Union and the Islamic Republic ended the sixth round of political dialogue in Brussels Tuesday evening on a positive and determined note.

The two sides are expected to hold the next round of political and trade negotiations in two months in Tehran, Iranian diplomatic sources told IRNA Wednesday.

The one-day meeting covered various issues including political cooperation between the Islamic Republic and the 25-member European bloc.

Ebrahim Rahimpour, director general for Western Europe at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, led his country's delegation in the political negotiations.

Luxembourg Ambassador Paul Mertz headed the EU side, which included officials from the EU Council, Commission and member states.

Luxembourg currently holds the EU presidency.

Meanwhile, the seventh round of EU-Iran negotiations on a trade and cooperation agreement (TCA), which began here Tuesday morning, ends Wednesday evening.

The Iranian side is led by Kia Tabatabaei, director general for economy at the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the EU by Christian Leffler, director of the European Commission's Middle East and South Mediterranean Department.

The TCA negotiations linked to a political dialogue were launched in Brussels in December 2002 to put the EU-Iran cooperation in a contractual framework.

The negotiations were put on hold in June 2003 due to EU concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

They were resumed last December following an agreement with Iran and the EU troika of Germany, France, and Britain over Tehran's voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

The political dialogue revolves around human rights, regional security in the Middle East, fight against terrorism, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

... Payvand News - 5/18/05 ... --

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