FM Confers With EU, Italy Counterparts

FM Confers With EU, Italy Counterparts
FM Confers With EU, Italy Counterparts

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate telephone conversations with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

Zarif and the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy discussed the latest regional and international developments and the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

The foreign minister and his Italian counterpart called for increased bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and international issues.

They stressed the need for regular consultations and exchange of visits between the two countries' officials.

Mogherini took over from Catherine Ashton as EU foreign policy chief on November 1, 2014. Ashton used to lead the nuclear talks on behalf the six major powers.  

Mogherini last December appointed Ashton as her special advisor for facilitating the nuclear talks with Iran.

Now Ashton facilitates contacts between Iran and the P5+1 while Mogherini herself is supposed to attend meetings when ministers from the six powers come together to negotiate with Zarif.

"To ensure the continuity of negotiations, which require full-time dedication, Catherine Ashton will facilitate the talks, and report regularly to (Mogherini)," an EU statement said in December.

An EU diplomatic team, led by political director Helga Schmid, continues to support Ashton.