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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Iran-EU talks near 'united' view
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani  in Ankara
The two men have met for the first time in months
Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has said Iran and the EU are approaching "a united view" in talks on settling the Iranian nuclear crisis.

Mr Larijani has been holding talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The two men have been meeting for the first time since the UN-imposed sanctions on Iran in March for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment.

Iran denies US and EU accusations that it is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Tehran says its enrichment programme is meant to produce civilian nuclear power.

"I think in some areas we are approaching a united view," Mr Larijani said.

"This is to say that the best approach is to settle all the issues through negotiations - the issue could be settled based on law and international rules and regulations.

"The agency's, the IAEA's inspections should be in place, and also the non-proliferation treaty should prevail. These are the good frameworks that are serving as the focal points of unity in both sides' views."

Mr Solana spoke of a "good meeting", adding: "We cannot make miracles, but we tried to move... the [nuclear] dossier forward.

He said the aim of both was to reach a solution to the nuclear dispute through diplomacy and dialogue.

"The fact that we are together again is itself a very important development," he said.

Talks conditions

The aim of Thursday's talks is to agree conditions for formal negotiations on ending the crisis to begin.

The two men's last meeting, in September, collapsed over the enrichment issue.

Iran refuses to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. The international community says it is a vital condition ahead of any direct talks.

The talks are due to continue at a further meeting in a couple of weeks though the date and location have not yet been decided.


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