Barack Obama

China to join New York talks on Iran

PARIS (Reuters) - China will join talks with the United States, Britain, Russia, France and Germany in New York on Thursday over possible sanctions against Iran, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Wednesday.

“The news is the announcement that China will participate in a meeting tomorrow in New York ... whether they will talk about the text, whether it’s just to respect formalities, I don’t know,” Kouchner told reporters in Paris, adding he hoped the talks would be of substance.

President Barack Obama said last week he wanted the 15-nation United Nations Security Council to adopt a new sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program within weeks, not months.

“We (the Western parties) basically agree, and the Russians have already participated (in the talks),” Kouchner said.

“Negotiations will be long, will they be over by the end of April? I hope so.”

Reporting by Sophie Hardach, editing by Tim Pearce