News from the Archive
02 September 2006, Prime Minister's Office, Finland
EU Foreign Ministers give support to Solana to clarify remaining nuclear issues with Iran
| ||The EU Foreign Ministers, meeting in Lappeenranta, reiterated on Saturday, 2 September, their full support for High Representative Javier Solana to continue to have discussions with Iranian representatives in order to clarify Iran's response on its nuclear activities. Solana said he would not need extensive sessions with Iran to clarify the remaining questions, but did not provide any timetable nor was one set by the EU Foreign Ministers.|
The EU Foreign Ministers unanimously reiterated their support for the High Representative's activities. Solana will meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, next week to try to clear up ambiguities in Tehran's 21-page reply to the offer by the EU, the USA, the Russian Federation and China of broad cooperation if it stops enrichment and reprocessing activities.
Iran and relations between the EU and Russia were on the agenda on the final day of the two-day informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers chaired by Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. “We had broad-ranging discussions on Russia, which is an important strategic partner for the EU and should be seen as such, rather than just regarded as a challenge”, said Tuomioja.
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia will expire next year, but the parties have agreed to continue to implement it until a new agreement has been negotiated and ratified. The EU hopes to confirm the mandate for the negotiations before the EU-Russia Summit in November.
Tuomioja did not see any major obstacles to the negotiation of a successor agreement, but admitted it would take a long time to come into force as it has to be ratified by all 25 Member States.
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