ALMATY (Reuters) – World powers and Iran still appeared far apart on Friday in negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear programme that were aimed at calming tensions which could boil over into war.
As talks got under way in Kazakhstan, the six nations – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – sought a concrete response from Iran to their February offer to ease sanctions if it stops its most sensitive nuclear work.
ALMATY (Reuters) – World powers will urge Iran on Friday to accept their offer to ease some economic sanctions if it stops its most sensitive nuclear work, in talks aimed at easing tensions that threaten to boil over into war.
The six powers – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – will meet Iranian negotiators in the Kazakh city of Almaty for the second round of talks this year, aiming to settle a decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear work.
ALMATY (Reuters) – Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili sounded a defiant note ahead of a new round of talks with world powers in Kazakhstan, saying on Thursday they had to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium to see any breakthrough.
The six powers – United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – will meet Iranian negotiators on Friday and Saturday in the Kazakh city of Almaty, hoping Tehran agrees to scale back its most sensitive atomic work that they suspect is aimed at achieving a nuclear weapons capability.
BRUSSELS, March 25 (Reuters) – The United States is
concerned Iranian appeals to European courts could loosen
sanctions against Tehran, said a State Department official on
Monday who urged the EU to urgently find a way to allow judges
to examine secret intelligence evidence.
Europe’s General Court told EU governments in January to
lift asset freezes against Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat, two of
more than a dozen Iranian banks which the European Union says
are helping finance Tehran’s nuclear programme.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union warned Egypt on Wednesday it could lose funds from its 5 billion euro (4.2 billion pounds) aid package if democratic reforms fail to satisfy Brussels, and said Cairo has already lost some additional funding.
In a report on reforms in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the European Commission said Cairo has shown insufficient progress since the 2011 revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and handed power to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments on Friday rejected Franco-British efforts to lift an EU arms embargo to allow weapons supplies to Syrian rebels, saying this could spark an arms race and worsen regional instability.
France and Britain found little support for their proposal at an EU summit in Brussels, diplomats said, but EU foreign ministers will consider the issue again next week.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A defiant Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban dismissed criticism that changes his government has made to the constitution are anti-democratic, saying there was no evidence of any breach of European Union rules.
The EU, the United States and human rights organizations have accused Orban of using constitutional amendments to limit the powers of Hungary’s top court and undermine democracy in the former Soviet satellite. The move follows steps last year to change Hungary’s media laws and the retirement ages of judges.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union imposed sanctions on Tuesday on an Iranian police unit monitoring the Internet, as well on several judges and media bosses the bloc blames for human rights violations in the Islamic Republic.
The sanctions reflect mounting concerns about human rights in Iran and are separate from measures against Tehran over its nuclear program, which governments in the European Union and elsewhere suspect has a covert military dimension.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France urged the European Union to look again at lifting an arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, putting it at odds with Germany which said such a step could spread conflict in the region.
Highlighting the different approaches of two of the European Union’s heavyweights, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday said lifting the arms embargo would help level the playing field in the two-year-old conflict in which 70,000 people have died.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has expressed concerns over a vote in Hungary’s parliament next week to change the constitution, arguing it contravenes EU rules in areas such as the judiciary.
In a phone call on Friday afternoon, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Prime Minister Viktor Orban that his government and the parliament should address concerns “in accordance with EU democratic principles”.