Sunday, July 17, 2005

EU to present its comprehensive package to Iran in August

Islamic Republic News Agency:
European Union Foreign Ministers' Council is to discuss the 25-member bloc's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran during their regular monthly meeting in Brussels on Monday.

According to EU diplomatic sources, the British EU presidency, the French and German foreign ministers and EU high representative Javier Solana will brief the meeting on work towards the presentation by the EU side in August of a comprehensive package to Iran on the three issues covered by the 15 November 2004 Paris agreement: nuclear issues; political and security issues and economic and technological cooperation.

The EU is expected to present the package to Iran early or mid-August after the new government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in place.

However, the EU foreign ministers are not expected to adopt any conclusions on Iran, said the sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

As for the allegations that have been made about President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the sources told journalists in Brussels Friday, ''our position is that we should withhold judgment till the investigations that are currently being carried out have run their course.''

On the state of EU-Iran negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation (TCA) agreement, the sources said progress has been made.

''We are making progress on both the trade and cooperation fronts.

We are getting closer to areas where there are agreement, particularly on industrial cooperation, on energy, on intellectual property and on trade investment .''

EU and Iran have held seven rounds of TCA negotiations till now.

''We are edging forward on all fronts but no areas has been completely finished. The negotiations are going pretty well,'' noted the sources.

However, ''concerns remain on the human rights situation in Iran,'' said the sources.

The next round of EU-Iran human rights dialogue is foreseen for September. READ MORE

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, will chair the meetings.

Solana is expected to brief ministers on his trip to the Middle East last week.

The Council is to adopt conclusions on the situation in Palestine, reaffirming the EU's support for Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank as an initial step towards a fair, lasting and comprehensive peace.

Developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and the Balkans will also be discussed.
The EU3 appear to have seperated human rights in Iran from any comprehensive deal with Iran. Bad news.