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07/23/08

EU Foreign Ministers Call For More Diplomacy With Iran

By Lisa Bryant, VOA, Paris

European Foreign Ministers have called for diplomacy rather than a military option to prod Iran to abandon its nuclear activities, despite lack of progress in talks with Iranian officials in Geneva. Lisa Bryant has more from Paris.

European Union ministers remained adamant Tuesday that talks were the only way to solve the impasse over Iran's nuclear program. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Associated Press that it is now up to Iran to respond to world powers following a meeting Saturday in Geneva between Iran on the one side, and the United States, European, Chinese, Russian and other diplomats on the other.

That meeting appeared to go nowhere, with Iranian diplomats reportedly steadfast in the pursuit of their nuclear program which they insist is for peaceful purposes. The United States and a number of European nations, believe Iran might be building a nuclear weapon.

At a press conference in Brussels Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the door for dialogue with Iran remained open.

He said he awaited a response from the Iranian government with optimism. Then, he said, it was important to start tackling what he described as a "second phase" in negotiations.

EU ministers also agreed to toughen sanctions against Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe.

... Payvand News - 07/23/08 ... --



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