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Aug 26, 2015

U.N. chief urges world leaders to speed up climate talks

PARIS, Aug 26 (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders on Wednesday to look beyond
their national interests and make sure a global deal to fight
climate change is agreed at talks in Paris this year.

With just 10 days scheduled for formal negotiations before
the climate summit begins in Paris on Nov. 30, work to pare back
a negotiating text, still more than 80 pages long, is behind
schedule and some important countries, including India and Saudi
Arabia, have yet to deliver promises on emissions cuts.

Aug 26, 2015

France in talks with Egypt over helicopter carriers – sources

PARIS, Aug 26 (Reuters) – France is in talks to sell two
Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt after their sale to Russia
was cancelled earlier this month, two sources close to the
matter said on Wednesday.

Cairo has sought to boost its military power in the face of
a two-year-old insurgency based across the Suez Canal in the
Sinai peninsula and fears the crisis in neighbouring Libya could
spill over. Egypt’s allies are also keen to burnish its image in
a region beset by turmoil.

Aug 25, 2015

France’s Hollande: Turkey needs to ramp up Islamic State fight

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday Turkey must do more to tackle Islamic State in Syria and urged it to restore dialogue with Kurdish groups after launching strikes against them more than a month ago.

Hollande delivered his annual foreign policy speech to French ambassadors a day after the Turkish foreign minister told Reuters that Turkey and the United States would launch air operations to push Islamic State from a border area in northern Syria, something that could help prevent the militants bringing in fighters and arms in.

Jul 21, 2015

Hard French line on Iran will not hurt business after sanctions: Fabius

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s hard line toward Tehran at nuclear negotiations will not hurt its businesses when they return to Iran after sanctions are lifted, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday.

Next week Fabius will make the first visit to Iran by a French foreign minister in 12 years, following the deal major powers struck with Iran to curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

Jul 13, 2015

Iran nuclear deal edges closer but success still not guaranteed

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers were close to clinching an historic pact on Monday that would bring Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme, but an Iranian negotiator said he could not guarantee a deal was imminent.

“I cannot promise whether the remaining issues can be resolved tonight or tomorrow night. Some issues still remain unresolved and, until they are solved, we cannot say an agreement has been reached,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying in Vienna.

Jul 11, 2015

France says ‘decision time’ has come in Iran nuclear talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister appeared to put pressure on the United States and Iran on Saturday to speed up nuclear talks, saying that all issues were now on the table between six major powers and Iran and that the time had to come to make a decision.

The two sides nevertheless struggled to break the deadlock in nuclear talks that has held up a historic deal that would bring sanctions relief for Tehran in exchange for curbs on its atomic program.

Jul 10, 2015

Iran, powers give themselves to Monday for nuclear deal

VIENNA, July 10 (Reuters) – Iran and major powers gave
themselves until Monday to reach a nuclear agreement, their
third extension in two weeks, as Tehran accused the West of
throwing up new stumbling blocks to a deal.

Both sides say there has been progress in two weeks of
talks, but British Secretary Philip Hammond called it “painfully
slow” and he and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, left
Vienna saying they would return on Saturday.

Jul 10, 2015

Iran says Western powers backtracking as nuclear deadline expires

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran accused major powers on Friday of backtracking on previous pledges and throwing up new “red lines” at nuclear talks, after the deadline to reach an agreement in time to receive expedited scrutiny from the U.S. Congress expired with no deal.

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal was unlikely to be reached on Friday and negotiators would probably spend the weekend in Vienna.

Jul 9, 2015

Deadlines, red lines, bedtimes get no respect at Iran talks

VIENNA, July 8 (Reuters) – As any parent knows, setting
limits is important, especially at bedtime. In the Iran nuclear
negotiations, however, the normal rules of diet, discipline and
decorum do not always apply.

Diplomats describe the downsides of the talks, among them
sleepless nights, separation from spouses and the difficulty of
maintaining one’s diet, let alone waistline, amid the siren
temptations of Vienna’s veal schnitzel and Sachertorte.

Jul 8, 2015

Iran says makes new proposal in nuclear talks, West unimpressed

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has offered “constructive solutions” to resolve disputes in nuclear talks with six major powers, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Wednesday, but Western officials suggested they had heard nothing new from Tehran.

Iran and the powers are in the last stretch of talks to reach a final agreement to end a more than 12-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. The aim is to lift sanctions in exchange for at least a decade of curbs on the program.