European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul on May 15, her spokesman said on Thursday, to discuss future diplomatic efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over Tehran's atom work, Reuters reported.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili (right) with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton - Moscow, June 2012
The meeting will follow a round of negotiations held in Kazakh city of Almaty in April between Iran and six world powers, which failed to produce a breakthrough.
Ashton represents the six nations - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany - in talks with Iran on its controversial atom program.
Western diplomats say discussions between Ashton and Jalili will be crucial in deciding whether and when a new round of negotiations between the six powers and Iran can take place.
The UN nuclear watchdog and Iran are also due to hold separate talks in Vienna on May 15.
Iran rejects claims by the U.S. and some European countries that its atom work has a covert military dimension and says it needs nuclear power for energy generation and medical purposes.
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