BAGHDAD May 24 Following is the text of a
statement issued by European Union (EU) foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton at the conclusion of talks between Iran and six
world powers in Baghdad on Thursday.
"First of all, I would like to thank the Iraqi government,
and in particular Foreign Minister Zebari, for the excellent
hospitality and organisation of these talks.
The E3+3 remain firm, clear and united in seeking a swift
diplomatic resolution of the international community's concerns
on the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme,
based on the NPT, and the full implementation of UN Security
Council and IAEA Board of Governors Resolutions. We expect Iran
to take concrete and practical steps to urgently meet the
concerns of the international community, to build confidence and
to meet its international obligations.
We have met with our Iranian counterparts over the last two
days in very intense and detailed discussions. In line with our
agreement in Istanbul, the E3+3 laid out clear proposals to
address the Iranian nuclear issue and, in particular, all
aspects of 20% enrichment. We also put ideas on the table on
reciprocal steps we would be prepared to take.
Iran declared its readinness to address the issue of 20
percent enrichment and came with its own five-point plan,
including their assertion that we recognise their right to
Having held in-depth discussions with our Iranian
counterparts over two days - both in full plenary sessions and
bilaterals - it is clear that we both want to make progress, and
that there is some common ground. However, significant
differences remain. Nonetheless, we do agree on the need for
further discussion to expand that common ground.
We will go back to our respective capitals and consult. We
will maintain intensive contacts with our Iranian counterparts
to prepare a further meeting in Moscow with arrival on 17 June
with talks on 18th an 19th June.
As we have already agreed, the talks will be based on a
step-by-step approach and reciprocity.
We remain determined to resolve this problem in the near
term through negotiations, and will continue to make every
effort to that end."
(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak, Editing by William Maclean)