(U.S. Department of State) - U.S. and world leaders expect a response from Iran on proposed nuclear talks by the mid-July the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Russia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said July 5, the same day Iran missed a meeting with Europes top envoy.
We will see what takes place over the next couple of days, Rice told reporters while meeting with Turkeys foreign minister, Abdullah Gul. But if indeed Iran is trying to stall, it's not going to work.
During Rices meeting with Gul, the State Department also released a statement affirming a shared vision for U.S.-Turkish relations, reports Trend.
On the issue of the Iranian nuclear program, the European Unions (EUs) high representative for foreign policy, Javier Solana of Spain, was scheduled to meet July 5 with his Iranian counterpart to discuss a diplomatic offer made in early June. However, Iran withdrew from the meeting.
Solana on June 6 delivered a proposal by the international community that would allow Iran to develop nuclear energy if the nation agrees to halt development of nuclear weapons. The plan, if accepted by Iran, would include the first direct talks between the United States and Iranian governments in more than 25 years.
The international community has said that we need to get an answer, an indication of where Iran is going with this, Rice said of nuclear proposals. We need to know if the path of negotiation is open or not. It is really incumbent on Iran now to take what is a very good [offer] and respond to it.
The Iranian proposal is a package of incentives developed by six nations: the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- France, Britain, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany. The six nations are known as the P-5+1.
I can assure you, Rice said, that we still intend to have a substantive response from Iran before the middle of July when the heads of state will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G8 summit. It simply makes sense for the world to have some kind of indication of whether Iran intends to pursue the negotiated track or not.
The G8 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia, which together account for about two-thirds of the worlds economic output. The heads of state of these nations are scheduled to meet in St. Petersburg July 15-17.
Rice said Gul has undertaken diplomatic steps to convince Iran that this is a time to accept the international communitys offer to solve the nuclear standoff by diplomatic means.
Turkeys foreign minister also has been stalwart in his support for young democracies like Afghanistan and Iraq, Rice said.