Zarif-Kerry Meeting to Focus on Nuclear Issue

Zarif-Kerry Meeting to Focus on Nuclear IssueZarif-Kerry Meeting to Focus on Nuclear Issue

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his meeting with the US secretary of state on Wednesday will focus on the nuclear issue.

After a meeting with visiting Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and in a joint press conference with him on Sunday, Zarif said he will hold a meeting with John Kerry on Wednesday, in which the two officials will only discuss the nuclear issue to explore the ways of speeding up the negotiating process on a final nuclear deal, Fars news agency reported.

He continued, "Our negotiations with the US are exceptional and unfinished, since we have only held negotiations on the nuclear issue and we are waiting to see whether they have been helpful."

He stated his meeting with Kerry will be held on the sidelines of his European tour.

On the duration of his visit to Europe, Zarif said his stay in Europe mainly depends on his meetings with European officials.

Regarding the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the major powers, he said, "As I mentioned earlier, we will be hosting the Russian deputy foreign minister to confer on the negotiations, the role of the EU and also the role which we expect our Russian friends to play."  

The top diplomat also said, "We met and held good talks with the Chinese deputy foreign minister a couple of weeks ago and (the consultations with China) will continue in future." On the meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, Zarif said, "Iran and Cyprus enjoy long lasting relations and we have always had diplomatic ties with the country since their independence."


  Broad Agenda

Referring to the "cordial relations" between the two states, Zarif pointed out, "The bilateral relations in political, economic and cultural spheres have been consistent," adding, "In today's talks, ways to boost ties between the private sectors and also agreements reached between the two governments in archeology, (exchange of) students and the scientific area were discussed."

"The talks mostly focused on mutual cooperation, regional security and the anti-terror fight as well as security in the Middle East region, Syria and Lebanon," he said.

The foreign minister added that they held good talks on the effective role that Cyprus can play as a neighbor of Syria and Lebanon. Pointing to Cyprus's membership in the EU and its position in the Mediterranean region, Zarif expressed hope that the country could play an effective part in fighting terrorism, extremism and violence.  

  Backing Diplomacy

In the joint press conference, Kasoulides said, "We expect Iran to maintain good relations with all its neighbors," adding, "The recent developments in the negotiations between Iran and the major powers on its nuclear program were reviewed in the meeting (with Zarif)."

"Cyprus voices support for the negotiating process and we hope the talks will reach a (good) result," he continued. He also announced that a Cypriot business delegation consisting of the Cypriot ministers of energy, tourism and trade will visit Iran next month.

He described his visit to Tehran as significant and said, "Good opportunities have opened for holding discussions on bilateral issues."

He referred to the meeting with Zarif and said, "The formation of a coalition government in Iraq, the ways to deal with the Islamic State terrorist group and the future of the Syrian government were discussed in the meeting."

"The future of Syria is of high significance to us and we are examining how we can help bring the country out of such a critical situation while ensuring its territorial integrity," he added.