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05/25/12

Iran, P5+1 seek progress based on common ground: Ashton

Source: Press TV

European Union (EU) Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton says both sides in the latest talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Baghdad shared common grounds and desired progress.


Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Baghdad (see more photos)

"It is clear that we both want to make progress, and that there is some common ground," said Ashton, who formally led the P5+1 delegations in the multifaceted talks, in a joint press conference in Baghdad with Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili on Thursday.

She added, however, that some differences still remain.

Noting that the much anticipated talks were held based on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as the UN Security Council resolutions, Ashton said that the P5+1 sought to build confidence during the negotiations, and there were detailed discussions on the matter, with both sides agreeing to hold more dialogues next month.

"We will maintain intensive contacts with our Iranian counterparts to prepare a further meeting in Moscow," noted the EU official during the press briefing.

She also asserted that, in line with agreements reached in Istanbul, there were clear discussions regarding Iran's nuclear energy program and its 20 percent uranium enrichment activities as well as Tehran's demand for the recognition of its enrichment rights.

The EU Foreign Policy chief further noted that the next round of the talks will be held through a step-by-step approach based on reciprocity.

The next round of negotiations has been scheduled to be held in Moscow on June 18 and 19.

Iran and the P5+1 group wrapped up their plenary meeting in the Iraqi capital on Thursday evening after a session of negotiations on Wednesday and a second one earlier on Thursday.

On the first day of the negotiations, Iran offered a comprehensive package to the P5+1, while an EU spokesman, Michael Mann told Press TV that the group's representatives put forward a set of new proposals to Tehran.

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