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Baghdad ready to host Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks

05-14-2012 16:32 BJT

BAGHDAD, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Baghdad is ready to host the upcoming round of nuclear talks between the six world powers and Iran, which is deemed as the biggest event in Iraq after the Arab League (AL) summit in late March, an Iraqi official newspaper reported on Monday.

"Iraq has completed all preparations and is ready to host the meeting, and Iraqi officials will present proposals to settle the disputes over Iran's nuclear program during the meeting between Iran and the P5+1," the state-run al-Sabah newspaper quoted unnamed government sources as saying.

The latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the UN Security Council's five permanent members (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China) plus Germany, known as P5+1, concluded in Turkey's Istanbul in April, with all sides describing the talks as positive and agreeing to meet again in the Iraqi capital on May 23.

Last month, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced his country's willingness to host the nuclear talks, stressing that Iraq's role will be more than a host, as it will work to smooth the discussions and will seek satisfactory accords to all parties based on the fact that the issue is also vital to Iraq's interests, according to the paper.

For his part, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed late Sunday that there will be no foreign forces to secure the nuclear talks meeting in Baghdad, saying that Iraqi security forces will be responsible for providing the needed security measures.

Late March, the Iraqi capital hosted the AL summit for the first of such landmark event in more than two decades.

Iraq considered the AL summit as a significant milestone in its history that would lead the country to play a powerful and positive role in the Arab world and the Middle East region.

The upcoming nuclear talks carry hopes of defusing a tense international showdown over Iran's nuclear activities that has sent oil prices soaring.

The UN has by now imposed several rounds of sanctions against Tehran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for bomb.

The EU, the United States and some other countries have imposed an oil embargo as part of sanctions to pressure Tehran into resuming talks on the country's nuclear program. They have also imposed tough banking sanctions aimed at limiting Iran's ability to sell oil, which accounts for 80 percent of its foreign revenue.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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