Turkey's foreign minister said Sunday Turkey would make all contributions to talks between Iran and EU on Iran's nuclear issue.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and Iran's Foreign minister Manuchehr Motaki in Istanbul to discuss ways to resolve controversies over Iran's nuclear program through diplomacy.
At a joint press conference with Amorim before their meeting with Motaki, Davutoglu said what they were doing was laying the groundwork for talks between Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. He said that Turkey was trying to help launch international talks as soon as possible.
"If there is a problem, parties must discuss it," he said.
Jalili and Ashton have never had a meeting before, Davutoglu said, however, he stated that exchange of letters created a positive atmosphere.
"We think this atmosphere should continue," Davutoglu said. "I believe both parties are positive on the matter."
Davutoglu also said that Turkey was involved in Iran's nuclear issue as it was affected by the problem.
"We have the right to have an effect on the problem as much as we are affected. Since we would be affected by the consequences of this problem, Turkey, as a neighboring country to Iran, will try to hinder possible negative consequences before they emerge," Davutoglu said.
In May, Turkey and Brazil signed a uranium swap deal with Iran under which Iran committed to give 1,200kg of 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20 percent enriched uranium it will receive from Western countries to be used as fuel in the nuclear research reactor in Tehran.
Iran agreed to receive the enriched uranium in Turkey from the Vienna Group, comprising of the United States, France, Russia and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
However, the deal failed to prevent fresh UN sanctions against Iran.
Davutoglu said the uranium swap deal had drawn a frame for confidence-building measures, not for final settlement of the problem.
Turkey also assumed the role of storing 1,200 kg of uranium, Davutoglu recalled, adding, "making use of this is left to discretion of both Vienna Group and Iran. We think making use of it would contribute to peace. Next steps to take would be launch of technical negotiations as soon as possible."
Related news reports:Last Mod: 25 Temmuz 2010, 16:40