Deputy chief negotiators of Iran, world powers start meeting in Istanbul
Iran's deputy chief negotiator and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Baqeri and EU foreign policy deputy chief Helga Schmid started a meet in Istanbul Friday evening to discuss contents of the Saturday talks between the two sides, Fars reported.
FNA dispatches said the EU Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Helga Schmid, arrived at Iran's consulate office to meet Baqeri on the details of the Saturday negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members - the US, China, Britain, Russia and France - plus Germany).
During the last few months, Baqeri and Schmid had a series of discussions to select the date and the venue of the talks.
Prior to this evening's meeting with Schmid, the Iranian deputy chief negotiator held meetings with the leaders of the Chinese and Russian delegations to the talks.
In the first meeting, China's Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu underlined the necessity for what he called a "lesser hostile" attitude by the West towards Iran.
The Chinese official also presented some offers on how to move forward, and noted, "The first round of talks should focus on determining the general principles and objectives of the talks in a bid to guarantee a calm start for the trend of the negotiations."
Baqeri, for his part, said that Iran has entered the talks with new initiatives and with a constructive attitude.
In the second meeting, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who heads Moscow's team of negotiators in the Istanbul talks between Iran and the six world powers, asked all parties to the negotiations to try for the success of the decisive meeting on Saturday.
Ryabkov, who came to Istanbul after a meeting of Group 8 in Washington, said that all parties to the Saturday talks in Istanbul should try for the success of the meeting.
Baqeri, for his part, noted Iran's serious efforts for the success of the Saturday meeting with the G5+1, and said, "Success of the talks is guaranteed by the opposite parties' mutual seriousness and constructive measures."
The Iran-G5+1 talks will be held at Istanbul's Lutfil Kirdar Hall on Satutday.
After a year of stalled talks, Iran and the G5+1 eventually accepted to resume their negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 14 and in case of good progress hold a second round of talks in Iraq's capital city, Baghdad.
The last meeting between the two sides took place in Istanbul in January 2011. Iran and the G5+1 had also held two rounds of multifaceted talks in Geneva in December 2010.
The Iranian team of negotiators is led by Jalili, while delegations of the six world powers are headed by EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton.