High-Level Iran-EU Talks in Dec.

High-Level Iran-EU  Talks in Dec.High-Level Iran-EU  Talks in Dec.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said the second round of "high-level" talks between Iran and the European Union is to be held in December in the EU's capital Brussels.

The first round of the talks was held in Tehran in February, where Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi headed the Iranian delegation and the EU deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid, led the European delegation.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said in a weekly press briefing on Monday that a wide range of topics of mutual interests will be discussed in the meeting, including cooperation on technology, investment and human rights, ISNA reported.

"On human rights, we have our views based on Islam and our constitution, and they have their views, which we can exchange," Qasemi said.

The talks are held at six-month intervals in Tehran and Brussels at the level of deputy foreign ministers.

Discussions cover collaboration on energy, transportation, environment and anti-drug campaign.

Regional developments and common threats to the two sides, including the spread of terrorism and extremism around the world, have also been announced as other subjects of consultations.

Iran and the EU agreed to start talks to help broaden bilateral relations in late July 2015, during the visit of EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to Iran days after the conclusion of the nuclear deal.

The pact was signed between Iran and world powers to remove international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.

Iranian officials since then focused on attracting technology and foreign investment to help modernize the economy and increase exports to wean the country off heavy dependence on oil revenues.

***Good Message From Lebanon

Asked to comment on a recent announcement by Lebanon's former prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, that he backs Michel Aoun's bid for presidency, Qasemi hailed the decision and said it can help strengthen national unity in the country and protect its territorial integrity.

"Lebanon is an important country in the Middle East and the absence of a head of state there was not a good thing," he said. "If [Aoun becomes the president], it will send a good message to the region and the world."

Hariri, who leads Lebanon's March 14 Alliance, in a news conference on Thursday voiced support for Aoun, the founder of Free Patriotic Movement and an ally of the Hezbollah political bloc.

It raised hopes for the settlement of a long-running deadlock on Lebanon's political stage by filling the presidential post that has been vacant for almost 30 months.

The Lebanese Parliament has repeatedly failed to elect a president due to differences between various political factions.

Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday that the door to electing a president was "wide open" and his members of parliament would vote for Aoun at a parliamentary session to elect the president on October 31.

Under Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shia Muslim.


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