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Iran, 5+1 group set for nuclear talks in Baghdad
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_jalili.jpgBAGHDAD – Negotiators from Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) are set to begin talks over Iran’s nuclear program in Baghdad today. 
 
The meeting is scheduled to run for two days. 
 
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will be representing world powers in the negotiations, and the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, will be heading the Iranian delegation.
 
Jalili and Ashton will hold bilateral talks before official talks begin.
 
Timetable for talks may be changed 
 
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters in Baghdad on Tuesday that there had been a possibility that the timetable for talks would be changed due to adverse weather conditions. 
 
AFP quoted an Iraqi Airways official as saying that a dust storm had shut Baghdad airport on Tuesday.  
 
“The negotiations can help promote security in the region,” Zebari said, adding, “The holding of the meeting benefits all regional countries, and no country in the region should oppose the holding of the meeting.” 
 
Asked if Iraq has arranged a meeting between Iranian and U.S. officials, the Iraqi foreign minister stated, “No effort has been made to hold a meeting between Iran and the United States in Baghdad, but the issue will be considered.” 
 
Ashton’s spokesman says 5+1 group will not put forward new proposals 
 
EU foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann told ISNA in Baghdad on Tuesday that the 5+1 group will not put forward any new proposal during talks with Iranian representatives.  
 
The group’s proposals are the ones that had previously been offered, Mann said, according to the Persian service of the news agency. 
 
Tehran and world powers held a new round of talks in Istanbul on April 14, breaking a 15-month hiatus in talks.  
 
And Helga Schmid, the deputy secretary general for political affairs of the European External Action Service, and Ali Baqeri, the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, were tasked with drawing up an agenda for the Baghdad talks.
 
Jalili hopes Baghdad talks will open new chapter in Iran-5+1 cooperation 
 
Jalili said on Tuesday that he was optimistic that a new round of talks between Tehran and the six major powers would mark the dawn of a new era in their cooperation.  
 
He made the remarks during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad. 
 
Jalili expressed hope that the talks would help enhance cooperation between Iran and the six major powers on nuclear, regional, and international issues. 
 
He stated that the fact that Iraq will be hosting the talks illustrates its high regional and international status and peace, security, and stability in the country. 
 
Maliki said that Iraq believes that international issues can be resolved only through dialogue. 
 
Iranian envoy says all Iraqi groups have welcomed talks 
 
The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Danaiifar, told a press conference in Baghdad on Tuesday that if the negations produce positive results and effectively help resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, this historic event will be recorded in Iraq’s history. 
 
However, the mere hosting of the talks is a historic event in the Iraqis’ views, he added. 
 
Danaiifar also stated that all Iraqi political groups have welcomed the talks. 

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Last Updated on 22 May 2012 17:25