Reps of P5+1 and Iran set to meet again in Almaty on April 5-6

ALMATY. February 28. KAZINFORM The first meeting in eight months of senior diplomats from the P5+1 and Iran over its nuclear program took place in Almaty on Feb. 26-27.

The main theme of the talks was the failure of Tehran to meet the demands of the UN Security Council and its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which gives reason for various parties to express doubts in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, Kazinform has learnt from Nazarbayev Center's press service.

The process was attended by representatives of the five permanent UN SC member states (Russia, China, the USA, France, UK), as well as representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Germany and the European Union.

Representatives of the EU and the P5+1 States provided Iran with updated proposals on regulation of its nuclear program. However, the substance of the proposals was not disclosed at the briefing.

"We collectively have developed a number of constructive suggestions for Iran. Today, we have voiced our concern to the Iranian side, which, in turn, should study and analyze our proposed measures and provide an answer at the next meeting in Almaty," said Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

"Iran is ready to make specific arrangements with the P5+1, if other participants also demonstrate a desire to settle the matter without putting pressure on Iran and making more realistic and constructive suggestions for our country,"-told the briefing the head of Iran's delegation, secretary of Iran's Supreme Security Council Saeed Jalili.

In turn, Catherine Ashton expressed hope that the results of the upcoming talks will be positive.

Thus, the six countries and Iran will meet at the expert level on 18-19 March in Istanbul, while the high-level meeting will take place April 5-6 in Almaty. The negotiators have expressed gratitude to Kazakhstan for agreeing to hosting another round of talks on Iran's nuclear program.

Chairman of the Commission on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction under the President of Republic of Kazakhstan, Director of the Nazarbayev Center Kanat Saudabayev, commented on the outcome of negotiations:

"The talks in Almaty on Iran's nuclear program, which ended with an agreement to have further search of solutions at the level of experts in Istanbul and to carry out one more round of negotiations in Almaty on April 5-6 of this year, became a considerable step in building confidence and mutual understanding between the parties and in strengthening of the understanding of the need to solve this problem exclusively through a peaceful, diplomatic way.

Kazakhstan was not a direct participant of the talks. However, our country created all conditions for their fruitful carrying out, and our head of state received co-chairs of the talks, Mr Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran's Supreme Security Council, and Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and expressed his good wishes.

Even such small progress in this difficult negotiation process cannot but please all of us. Symbolically, it became possible on the Kazakh soil, in Almaty, where President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Decree on shutting down the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on August 29, 1991. That historical act became a first step for humanity on the road to a nuclear weapons free world."

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