EU foreign policy chief seeks urgent Iran talks

BRUSSELS Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:16pm EDT

European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak at the presidential palace in Cairo September 2, 2009. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak at the presidential palace in Cairo September 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Friday that he was seeking an urgent meeting with the Iranian chief nuclear negotiator after consulting six major powers over proposals submitted by Iran.

"We are in contact with Dr (Saeed) Jalili's (Iran's chief nuclear negotiator) office to arrange a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity," Solana said in a statement.

Iran handed on Wednesday a package of proposals to major powers including the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany. The countries are evaluating the proposals after giving the Islamic Republic until this month to respond to their demand for talks on its nuclear program.

The Iranian proposals include a global system to eliminate nuclear weapons as well as cooperation on Afghanistan and fighting terrorism. But, crucially, Iran said it would not discuss its uranium enrichment program, which some Western powers fear could be used to build a nuclear bomb.

"We are all committed to meaningful negotiations with Iran to resolve the International Community's concerns about their nuclear program," Solana said.

(Reporting by Bate Felix)