Published On: Sun, Mar 4th, 2012

PM Erdoğan scheduled to visit Iran for nuclear talks

ERDOGAN_PLANEPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to pay a visit to neighboring Iran to discuss the results of an international nuclear security summit set to take place in South Korea in late March, which will focus on Iran’s disputed nuclear enrichment program.

Erdogan will meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran during the week following the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit on March 26-27.

The prime minister is scheduled to deliver the final message at the summit. Erdogan first planned to head to Tehran on March 28 after attending the meeting in Seoul, but Iran wanted the meeting to be held the following week because Ahmadinejad would not be in Tehran.

During the Seoul nuclear summit, Erdogan is set to suggest that a second meeting between Iran and the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany — could be held in Istanbul. The prospective second round of talks is expected to start in April if all parties reach an agreement. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced at a press conference held in Iran on Feb. 19 that the next round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran will probably be held in Istanbul, but did not specify a timeframe.

The Seoul nuclear summit, which was attended by roughly 60 national representatives from Europe, Asia and the US, will host detailed discussions on how international cooperation can be used to mitigate nuclear threats. EU governments and the US, as well as regional countries such as Israel, have deep concerns over Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which is allegedly part of a wider program to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran is insisting that its nuclear program is solely for the purposes of generating energy.

Erdogan will resume his schedule of diplomatic visits in March, after having recovered from a second round of surgery on his digestive system. On March 17, Erdogan will visit the German city of Bochum to attend the Der Steiger awards ceremony, where he will receive the award for international leadership, granted annually to individuals for their achievements in such areas as politics, media, sports and the environment. In addition to Erdogan, Queen Silvia of Sweden and former German President Horst Kohler will be honored at the event.


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