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UPDATED: 16:54, June 02, 2006
German FM hopes EU, Iran to resume nuclear talks
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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Vienna on Thursday that he hoped the European Union (EU) could resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear issue.

"I'm still hopeful that we can open the window for a return to the negotiating table, and very much hope this is recognized in Tehran," he said after a foreign ministerial meeting by the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

The five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany reached consensus on a package of incentives at the meeting in a bid to persuade Iran into halting its nuclear program.

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett had told a press conference after the meeting that the international community will provide Iran with a package of incentives "which would bring significant benefits" if Iran gives up its current uranium enrichment activities.

Beckett did not give details, but diplomats said the incentives includes a light-water nuclear reactor and a foreign supply of atomic fuel for Iran, and an offer to suspend sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council.

It also carries penalties that can be applied by the United Nations Security Council if Tehran does not cooperate.

Terming an uphill task to reach the package of incentives, Steinmeier said the package will be conveyed to Iran within days.

Steinmeier also said U.S. willingness to join the negotiations with Iran was of great significance, but added that such move was based on Iran's suspension of its uranium enrichment first.

Source: Xinhua

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