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UN powers, Germany to discuss Iran on March 20

The presidential statement would be issued from the five permanent members of the Security Council.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 10:54 IST
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High-level foreign ministry officials of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany will meet in New York on Monday to finalise their stance on the nuclear standoff with Iran, a US State Department official said.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and his counterparts from China, France, Russia and Britain, plus Germany, will attend the meeting.

"They plan to finalise the presidential statement on Iran," he said.

"The immediate issue of discussion is the presidential statement but I wouldn't be surprised if they talk about the broader issue of Iran's nuclear programme."

The presidential statement would be issued from the five permanent members of the Security Council.

On Thursday, Burns essentially ruled out any direct talks with the Islamic republic on its nuclear programme after Tehran proposed talks on stabilising the situation in neighbouring Iraq.

"The issue of Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon capability is now in New York at the United Nations," he told reporters.

"And they'll be some important discussions early next week in New York among the members of the permanent five and the German government and others about how we move forward with the presidential statement."

Russia and China, which have close economic ties with Tehran, have made it clear they oppose sanctions and have indicated the International Atomic Energy Agency should keep the lead role in handling the issue.

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 10:28 IST