Volume. 12202

Germany says it will help pave the way for Iran-U.S. direct talks
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_ep3(105).jpgTEHRAN – German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Friday that Berlin would help pave the way for direct talks between Iran and the United States, expressing hope that Iran would accept the offer of bilateral talks, AFP reported. 
He made the statement in Berlin in reference to the remarks that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made in an interview with the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily on Friday in which he said, “We are continuing with the P5+1 group to work for a diplomatic solution, and we have said from the beginning that we are prepared to hold a bilateral meeting.” 
Westerwelle said, “This is a hand that he is extending to the Iranian government, and we will urge the Iranian government to take them up on this offer.”
“Direct talks between Washington and Tehran are in the interest of all of our security, also in our interests as Europeans so we will make our contribution to creating the necessary atmosphere,” the German minister said after a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who leads the negotiations with Iran over the country’s nuclear program on behalf of world powers, namely the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany.  
In addition, Ashton said in Berlin on Friday that she hoped a new round of talks between Iran and the six major powers would resume “very shortly,” AFP reported. 
The latest round of talks between Iran and world powers was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, 2012, and a new round of talks is expected to be held in February. 
According to sisterszone.com, Ashton also called on the Iranian leadership to accept the offer of bilateral talks with the United States, but she added that it was not the task of Europe to arrange talks between Washington and Tehran.

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