Nuclear Talks: Ashton, Jalili Not Even Agree On Why They Meet Each Other

Europe's Catherine Ashton and Iran's Saeed Jalili

Europe’s Catherine Ashton and Iran’s Saeed Jalili

While EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili meet each other tonight in the Turkish city of Istanbul, two sides do not even have a shared vision of the content and objective of their meeting.

The dinner meeting tonight in Istanbul is a follow up to the last round of Iran – P5+1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) nuclear talks held in Almaty, Kazakhstan on April 5th and 6th.

Dr. Jalili on arrival in Istanbul on Wednesday morning told journalists that he is expecting to “receive P5+1’s response to Iran’s proposal” which was presented in Almaty-I talks on February 26th and 27th.

Jalili said that Ashton and the P5+1 delegations promised in their final statement of Almaty-II talks to answer Iran’s proposal within several days, but now, after a long delay, he is in Istanbul to hear the result of P5+1 consultations with their foreign ministers.

On the other side, Catherine Ashton in remarks before her meeting with Saeed Jalili expressed hope to receive Iran’s respond to proposals that the P5+1 have put forward in Almaty on both occasions.

“This is not a negotiating meeting, but it is an opportunity to take time to consider further the good proposals we have put forward,” she said.

Catherine Ashton said in her statement at the end of Almaty-II talks that the P5+1 delegations will go back to their capitals to evaluate the process and later she will be in touch with Dr. Jalili in order to see how to go forward.

Ashton is also likely to get information about the Iran’s upcoming presidential election from Jalili, who may be the next Iranian president as he announced his candidacy for the upcoming Iran’s presidential election.

Iran also had a new round of negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Wednesday.

The ongoing talks are the 10th round of the negotiations between Iran and the IAEA over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program since early 2012.

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