Brazil, Turkey call for diplomacy on Iran nuclear issue

08:34, May 20, 2010      

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Brazil and Turkey on Wednesday called on the other members of the United Nations Security Council to refrain from adopting sanctions against Iran.

The letter was signed by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu. The two countries, which are non-permanent members of the 15-member Council, have been seeking a path of diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear issue.

On Tuesday, the United States circulated a draft resolution backed by veto-wielding powers to the Council that would build on existing UN sanctions on Iran and give them "additional teeth" by creating new categories.

Negotiations on the individuals and entities to be subjected to travel bans and asset freezes began Tuesday evening with Brazil refusing to engage in any dialogue, French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud told reporters here on Wednesday.

"Brazil can take part or not take part, this is the decision of Brazil," Araud said. "The negotiations have started already yesterday evening between experts and will go on in the coming days or weeks."

"That is the choice of Brazil, if they do not want to negotiate, " he continued. "It is their right to do so. The negotiations will go on with or without them."

The Council comprises five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- and 10 temporary members. Nine votes in favor and no vetoes by permanent members are needed for a resolution to pass.

When a reporter asked if France was seeking a consensus on the resolution, Araud said: "No, we want a resolution."



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