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World major countries to hold nuclear talks with Iran

REPRESENTATIVES from world major countries and Iran will hold talks here on Sunday seeking for an agreement over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, said the mediator European Union (EU) on Friday.

In a statement received by Xinhua Friday afternoon, the EU said that the political directors from the P5+1 group, namely the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, and Iran will meet in this Swiss city on Feb. 22 "to continue their diplomatic efforts towards reaching a long-term, comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue".

Sunday's meeting is preceded by the bilateral engagements between the United States and Iran that started Friday morning.

The bilateral talks were at the moment led by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, according to Iran's official news agency IRNA.

It was announced that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will join the talks on Sunday and Monday.

During his visit to Iran days earlier, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Iran and world powers to jointly push for a successful "sprint finish" of the marathon talks on Iran's nuclear issue.

Wang stressed that the talks have entered a final stage "like the finish sprint of a marathon, the closer to the end the harder."

All sides should be determined to overcome difficulties and obstacles to secure a successful outcome, Wang added.

Wang emphasized China's position of peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue via talks.

Wang urged all sides to seize the "historical opportunity" to resolve the nuclear issue, adding that a comprehensive deal is good for Iran to maintain its lawful rights, to rid the Iranians of economic sanctions, and to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Iran has been a target of UN sanctions due to its alleged attempts to build nuclear weapons. The West accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear programs, which Iran has denied, insisting that its nuclear programs are for peaceful purposes only.

The sides agreed in November 2014 to extend the deadline for another seven months and aimed to reach a political framework deal within the next four months. 


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