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Salehi: Astana, Bern ready for hosting Iran-G5+1 talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Addis Ababa, Jan 28, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stated that Kazakhstan Republic and Switzerland have declared their readiness to host Tehran and world powers’ nuclear talks.

Salehi made the remarks in a press conference held on the sidelines of the 20th African Union (AU) Summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Sunday.

FM stressed continuation of talks with G5+1 for determining the venue for upcoming nuclear talks.

The Group 5+1 (the five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany) is soon due to hold a regular meeting with Iran. It was said initially that the talks will be held in Turkey, but later it was announced that they could take place in Egypt.

The latest talks between Iran and Group 5+1 took place in Istanbul in April 2012. The second round of talks took place in Baghdad in May 2012, the third in Moscow in June 2012.

Responding to a question about the Syrian crisis, Iranian FM noted that Tehran believes the Syrian crisis should be resolved by participation of all Syrians without any foreign interference.

He asked all political groups in Syria to help halt the violence in order to pave the way for national dialogue between the opposition and government.

Pointing to the quartet of Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia for resolution of the Syria crisis, Salehi underlined the continuation of discussions between the four countries on the issue.

Answering another question about Iran's presence in the international waters, FM said that the presence of Iranian warships in the Red Sea and other international waters is aimed at providing the security of Iranian ships traveling in the international waters.

Iran occasionally sends its warships to the international waters to help secure the safety of Iranian merchant ships and thwart the possible threats by pirates.

The Army’s naval forces are present in this region with the purpose of providing the security of the region, Salehi said.

He reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran has friendly ties with the Red Sea countries.

Iran started dispatching warships to the high seas after its cargo vessels and tankers came under attack and were hijacked by Somali pirates. The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.

Additionally, replying a question about his talks with his Argentine counterpart H Ctor Timerman on the sidelines of the 20th summit of the African Union for resolving disputes over Amia, Salehi noted that the two sides called for settlement of the issue through broadening of mutual cooperation and appointment of independent lawyers.

The two foreign ministers met in Switzerland last month and discussed the issue in detail.

Foreign minister voiced Iran’s readiness for expansion of mutual cooperation and bilateral ties with the African states and transfer of Iran’s technical know-how and experiences to those countries, especially in the engineering field.

Responding to a question on relations between Iran and the African states, the Iranian foreign minister said that Iran’s presence in the AU summit is indicative of the important status of the African countries in Iran’s foreign policy.

Salehi described the African continent’s future as bright and underlined Iran’s preparedness for enhancement of bilateral ties with the African countries and helping to development of African countries.

Meanwhile, He called for the peaceful resolution of crisis in African country of Mali and noted that Islamic Republic of Iran as the head of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is ready to help the resolution of crisis in Mali and dispatch human aids to the war-torn country.

Leaders of the 54-nation AU and representatives of international organizations and observer nations have attended the Summit. Salehi has taken part in the AU Summit at the invitation of Head of the AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The African Union, as the most important regional organization in Africa, annually holds two regular meetings in January and June at the level of heads of state. The AU January Summit is held at its headquarters in Addis Ababa every year, while the annual June Summit is held in one of the member states.

The AU Summit reviews the most important African issues as well as global developments.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80517561



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