Iran-French Foreign Ministers, Ashton Hold Trilateral Meeting

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a trilateral meeting with the European Union foreign policy chief and the French foreign minister in the Swiss city of Geneva on Saturday.

Iran-French Foreign Ministers, Ashton Hold Trilateral Meeting

According to Michael Mann, the European Union foreign policy chief’s spokesman, Ashton held a trilateral meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius today.

According to Tasnim dispatches, the western delegations are holding separate meeting to consult on the details of the last round of talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).

They also are in contact with their capitals in a bid to brief senior officials about the outcomes of negotiations held in the last two days.

Some reports suggest that differences among members of the G5+1 have caused the talks to drag on beyond the two-day timetable of November 7-8.

As negotiations in Geneva went into a third day Saturday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio there are major stumbling blocks in an initial proposed text on a deal.

In the meantime, sources close the Group 5+1 said the next round of talks between the six world powers and Iran is likely to be held early next week.

And according to the latest news, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also arrived in the Swiss city, joining his counterpart from other members of the G5+1.

The arrival of Russian foreign minister and China’s foreign minister or his deputy has fueled optimism that the presence of a full complement of top diplomats from the six countries negotiating with Iran was the prelude to the announcement of a deal.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who interrupted the itinerary of his tour to the Middle East and North Africa to join the talks, had earlier said that there were still "important gaps" between Iran and world powers.

He met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton for five hours on Friday evening.

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