World powers, Iran wrap up N-talks

World powers and Iran on Wednesday wrapped up two days of talks in Kazakhstan aimed at breaking a decade of deadlock over the Iranian nuclear programme, but there was no sign they had achieved any breakthrough.

The first day of gruelling negotiations in an upscale hotel in the Kazakh city of Almaty had concluded yesterday with both sides relieved to have pushed the talks along for another day.

The world powers of the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany had described the first day of the talks as “useful” without giving further details.

The second day began with a one-on-one session between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton — representing the world powers — and chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili.

Closed-door meeting

All the nations involved then opened a full plenary session behind closed doors. The first day’s session lasted three hours but on the second day it wrapped up in just one hour.

“Talks have concluded,” said a Western official, adding that details of the meeting would be provided shortly. An Iranian official also confirmed that the talks had now concluded, without giving further details.

The powers made an offer to ease some sanctions on Iran in exchange for concessions on its disputed nuclear programme.

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