EU, Iranian officials hold day of talks in Turkey

Liberman says time nearing when negotiations must end and action must begin.

July 25, 2012 05:12
1 minute read.
Iran - P5+1 negotiations  in Baghdad May 23, 2012.

Iran- P5+1 negotiations 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Government Spokesman Office/Handout)

Negotiations between Iran and the world powers known as the P5+1 cannot go on forever, and “the time will come when negotiations must end and actions must begin,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday.

Liberman’s comments on the Iranian issue at a press conference in Brussels during the EU-Israel Association Council meeting came just as Iranian and European officials were set to begin meeting in Istanbul.

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“After three rounds of negotiation in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow I think it is the right time to draw some conclusions,” Liberman said.

“We have patience, we are waiting and anxiously monitoring these talks, but also hope to see substantial results.”

At last month’s talks in Moscow, which failed to produce any results, it was decided to hold three lower-level meetings. The first, between technical experts, was held July 3 in Istanbul. The second, between the EU’s Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid and her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheir, was held away from the press and in a secret location in Istanbul on Tuesday.

And another meeting between EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is to follow in the coming days. Ashton is representing the P5+1, which includes the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. The aim of these three rounds of lower-level talks is to see whether there is any room to return to political negotiations.

No details of Tuesday’s meeting were immediately available.

The P5+1 are demanding that Iran – as a first confidence-building measure – stop enriching uranium at 20 percent, transfer its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium out of the country, and close the Fordow enrichment facility near Qom.

These demands are far less stringent than what Israel believes should be the goal of the negotiations: an end to all uranium enrichment, shipping all enriched uranium out of the country and the closure of Fordow.

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