Iran positive on fresh nuclear talks with West

ANKARA — Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has welcomed a proposal for new talks with Western powers over his country's nuclear programme, possibly in Turkey, media reported late Friday.

"This idea has been accepted by Iran. If we agree on a date, this meeting may be held in a short time," Anatolia news agency quoted Mottaki as saying after talks with the Turkish foreign minister in Istanbul Friday evening.

"The venue of the meeting will be very probably Turkey. This proposal is a good proposal for us," he said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he had proposed the meeting in Turkey during his visit to Tehran last month.

He had suggested talks between Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as a representative of powers in the so-called P5+1 group working on the Iran nuclear standoff.

"We have offered a meeting with P5+1 in Turkey. Iran is positive on this proposal. A reply is being awaited from Ashton," he said.

"The resumption of talks between the P5+1 and Iran is a must. The way for diplomatic efforts should be opened," he said.

The P5+1 group consists of permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.

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