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Published:July 16th, 2008 10:23 EST
EU, US and Iran to engage in historic nuclear talks

EU, US and Iran to engage in historic nuclear talks

By SOP newswire

A senior U.S. official says the United States will send a top diplomat to participate in talks with Iran about Tehran`s nuclear program at a meeting Saturday in Geneva.

European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier SolanaIn a shift in long-standing policy, the official said Undersecretary of State William Burns will join a meeting with Iran`s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

The U.S has previously refused to attend any talks with Tehran on its nuclear program until it stops enriching uranium.

The American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, stressed that Burns will not negotiate during his visit and will not hold separate meetings with the Iranians.  

He said Burns will reiterate the Bush administration`s position that Iran must suspend uranium enrichment before the United States can enter into serious negotiations with the country.

Earlier this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the meeting in Geneva will focus on what he called "common points" of the proposals made by six world powers and Iran to settle the nuclear dispute.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also said talks with the United States on Iran`s nuclear program are possible in the near future.

Iranian state-run media quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad as saying he would welcome such talks if they are conducted in fair conditions.  But Mr. Ahmadinejad reiterated his rejection of any preconditions for resuming negotiations with world powers.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.