|Rouhani meets EU Commission president, says situation ripe to strengthen Iran-Europe ties||
TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the atmosphere is favorable for an all-out expansion of ties between Iran and European countries.
He made the remarks during a meeting on Thursday with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Rouhani also expressed hope that Iran and the six major powers would immediately start comprehensive negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program, saying “Although, it is a tough and complicated work, it can be achieved in the shortest time with determination on both sides.”
Barroso, for his part, said, “We believe that Iran is an important player in the Middle East and can be a significant partner for us.”
“Iran should use this window of opportunity with determination to move to a comprehensive long-term solution on the nuclear issue,” Barroso said in a statement. “This would open up the potential for an improved relationship and broader cooperation.”
An interim nuclear deal signed between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France – plus Germany) came into force this week. It granted Iran a limited easing of the sanctions in return for temporary constraints on its uranium enrichment and nuclear development.
Rouhani also held a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on the same day and said Iran and the Netherlands have the capacity to increase their relations, particularly in economic areas.
He also met with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.
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