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Germany's Steinmeier says EU ready to resume talks with Iran on nuclear issue

Brussels, Oct 16, IRNA-German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday that it is 'unavoidable' that Iran's nuclear dossier will be discussed in the UN Security Council, but stressed that the EU offer for talks with Iran remain open.

Speaking at a press conference in Luxembourg following a EU-Turkey ministerial troika this evening, Steinmeier said EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana's 'efforts have not been crowned with success so far so that we can get back to negotiations with Iran'.

"Then it would be unavoidable for the Security Council to resume its discussions," he said.

"We have stuck to the line agreed by the 6 foreign ministers (five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) with Javier Solana in London saying that there will be discussions in the Security Council probably with a resolution and we are trying at the first stage to reach agreement on sanctions."

"But" he continued, "We still have this offer of talks to Iran." "We are always prepared to resume those negotiations with Iran," said the German foreign minister.

EU officials and Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul also discussed Iran during their meeting.

"We established a position today with Turkey. I don't think there was any difference in our assessment (on Iran)," said Steinmeier.

He said EU foreign ministers will have a thorough discussion on Iran on Tuesday.

Germany will take over the six-month rotating EU Presidency from Finland on 1 January 2007.

The press conference was carried live by the EU TV agency, Europe by Satellite (EBS), from Luxembourg and monitored by IRNA in Brussels.

Italian PM stresses need to reach agreement with Iran on nuclear issue

Madrid, Oct 16, IRNA-Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi who has travelled to Spain, on Monday stresses the need for continuation of talks with Iran on nuclear issue to reach an agreement.

Spanish daily El Pais quoted Prodi on Monday that EU had to strive for a complete agreement with Iran.

Prodi made it clear that Italy supports efforts by the EU high representative for common foreign policy and security Javier Solana to solve Iran's nuclear issue through negotiations.

The daily also quoted the Italian premier as saying that Italy is sensitive towards Iran, because it is the first trade partner of the Islamic Republic in Europe.

The Italian prime minister described Italy's political role as secondary, because it was not a part of European nuclear negotiating group comprising France, Germany and Britain.

Prodi added that due to this reason Italy cannot take any initiative in this regard.

Elsewhere in his interview, Prodi expressed his concern about the European Union's inability to present an effective foreign policy.

He also pointed to immigration and energy as two main problems facing EU and said Europe's heavy dependence in the field of energy would make it vulnerable.

... Payvand News - 10/17/06 ... --

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