TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that in his meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels it is not expected that “issues of substance” to be discussed.
Zarif said the request for meeting was made by Ashton, who represents the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in the nuclear talks with Iran.
He stated that the talks will be held with the aim of organizing the continuation of talks, the Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.
The Iranian foreign minister is scheduled to hold talks with Ashton in Brussels in early September prior to negotiations with diplomats from the 5+1 group.
Iran and the six major powers failed to meet the self-imposed July 20 deadline to work out a comprehensive nuclear deal. The two sides agreed to extend the talks until November 24.
“I do not expect that issues of substance would be discussed in the meeting,” Zarif stated.
He went on to say that Iran’s negotiating team is holding “bilateral” talks with the six major powers.
Commenting on the talks with the U.S. prior to official meeting between Iran and the six major powers in future weeks, Zarif said he is not scheduled to hold meeting with U.S. officials, but the other members of the Iranian negotiating team will meet with the U.S. negotiators.
He also said he plans to meet with the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers.
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