Nuke talks may begin in April: Davutoğlu

Nuke talks may begin in April: Davutoğlu

Nuke talks may begin in April: Davutoğlu

Ahmet Davutoğlu. AA photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi yesterday, to discuss the prospect of fresh nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 group of world powers.

“I believe that negotiations could take place in a month’s time, in April at the latest,” Davutoğlu said in an interview with TRT television late Feb. 28. “If they choose us, we are always ready to host the meeting and do our best to contribute.”

However a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News that “another exchange of letters might be required” between Iran and E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton before the talks could resume. The diplomat also suggested the resumption of negotiations might take “a few months.”

Davutoğlu and Salehi also discussed the Syrian turmoil in light of the recent Friends of Syria group meeting last week, the diplomat added.

Salehi recently said the next round of talks would be held in Istanbul, but Ankara would not confirm that.

Turkey is concerned that Iran is using the talks to buy time and reduce international pressure over its nuclear program. Davutoğlu has said that if a new round of talks takes place, the two sides should this time stay at the table until they reach a settlement.

The previous talks between Iran and the P5+1 group collapsed in Istanbul in January 2011. The United Nations and the West have imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran in an unsuccessful effort to force it to halt its atomic activities. The Western measures have badly impacted Iran’s economy, but Tehran has responded by ramping up its uranium enrichment.