Iran suggests Cairo as venue for next nuclear talks

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:30am EST
 
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By Yeganeh Torbati

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has proposed Cairo as the venue for the next nuclear talks with world powers, its foreign minister said on Wednesday without indicating when the meeting, aimed at defusing a standoff with the West, would happen.

"When I was in Egypt ... it was suggested that the next meeting be held in Cairo," Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students' News Agency.

"This issue was welcomed by our dear friends in Egypt and Egypt will consult with the P5+1 (group of countries) for hosting this meeting."

Holding the talks in Egypt could indicate warming ties between Cairo and Tehran, two of the Middle East's most influential countries.

After decades of frozen relations with former President Hosni Mubarak, Iran has courted his successor, the Islamist Mohamed Mursi, although opposing views on the Syrian civil war have prevented a rapid rapprochement.

Salehi visited Cairo for talks with Mursi on January 10.

There was no immediate comment from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents world powers in dealings with Tehran.

The last talks between Iran and the P5+1 - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - were held in Moscow in June but failed to resolve the nuclear standoff that has led to crippling sanctions against Tehran which the West fears is seeking atomic weapons capability.   Continued...

 
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks during a news conference following his meeting with Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Egyptian Imam of al-Azhar Mosque, in Cairo January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany