Archive for the ‘negotiation’ Category

Arabs lament lack of dialogue on Iran nuclear crisis

November 9, 2008

Arab diplomats complained on Sunday about a lack of dialogue with the West over Iran‘s nuclear ambitions during a briefing on the crisis by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh alongside French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and their counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

“The Arab countries wanted to be informed of the state of negotiations” between Iran and six major world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — said an official who attended the talks.

Another participant said the Arab diplomats expressed “deep concerns” at the meeting and complained of “insufficient dialogue” between Arab countries and the six world powers on the standoff over Iran’s nuclear drive.

Western nations led by the United States accuse Tehran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons but Iran vehemently denies the charges, saying its programme is solely aimed at generating electricity.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Salah Bashir told the meeting that “the nuclear crisis became a crisis (for the West) but for us the Iranian surge for hegemony has become a crisis,” according to the participant who asked not to be named.

Sunni Arab governments like Egypt, Jordan and the six oil-rich Gulf monarchies have repeatedly expressed concerns over what they see as the growing influence of Shiite Iran in the region, namely in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for failing to heed international demands to halt uranium enrichment but the major powers have offered Tehran technological, economic and political incentives if it suspends the process.

–AFP

Russia sees hope of missile progress with Obama

November 9, 2008

Russia hopes for constructive talks with the next U.S. administration on Washington’s planned missile defense system in Europe, Russian media quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Sunday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is seen in his Gorki residence ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is seen in his Gorki residence outside Moscow. Barack Obama is keeping people guessing about whether he will pursue a Bush administration plan to set up a missile shield in central Europe but analysts say Russia has shot itself in the foot with threats to deploy missiles in retaliation.(AFP/Ria-Novosti/Vladimir Rodionov)

A Russian deputy foreign minister said separately, in an interview with Interfax news agency, that Moscow would not carry out a threat to deploy tactical missiles near Poland if Washington scrapped its plans to deploy its missile system in Europe.

Washington says the missile defense shield, which would consist of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, would help protect from missile attacks by “rogue states” such as Iran.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has supported work on a missile defense system, but says it must be “pragmatic and cost-effective” and cannot divert resources from other priorities until its effectiveness is proven.

“We have turned our attention to those positions which Barack Obama published on his site,” Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“They inspire a hope that we will be able to tackle these issues on a more constructive basis.”

Lavrov and Rice were taking part in a meeting of Middle East mediators.

Lavrov said proposals Russia had so far received from the outgoing U.S. administration to ease its concerns over the U.S. missile system “fall short of the agreements reached earlier at the level of the presidents.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged last week to station Iskander tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland in response to the planned U.S. missile system.

Russia says it sees no prospect of Iran firing missiles at Europe and that the U.S. system is a direct threat to its national security.

The European Union this week expressed “strong concern” over Moscow’s plan to deploy the Iskander systems near Poland.

“There is a very important detail here — these plans (to deploy Iskander missiles) will be implemented only in case the U.S. missile defense system is launched,” Interfax quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying.

“If the United States does not deploy it, then the very need for Russia to take these precautionary measures will be removed,” Grushko said.

He said the EU “should not have pretended they are bewildered that Russia would take relevant retaliatory steps, because the U.S. plans undermine Russia’s strategic potential, which is a basis for global security.”

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Louise Ireland at Reuters)

Missile Defense: Russia and U.S. in “Intense Negotiations”

March 17, 2008
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

MOSCOW – Russia‘s president-elect on Monday predicted intense negotiations on U.S. missile defense plans, saying Moscow still has some questions and differences with the Bush administration.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks to reporters aboard ... 
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks to reporters aboard his plane enroute to Moscow Sunday, March 16, 2008. Gates and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet their Russian counterparts March 17 and 18 to discuss missile defense, non-proliferation and counterterrorism.(AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, POOL)

“At the same time, we are determined to go ahead,” said Dmitry Medvedev, setting a positive tone ahead of talks set for Tuesday. “We need to provide for continuity in the Russian-U.S. relationship. We have all the requisite tools to do this.”

Medvedev’s comments came as he met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in an ornate room in the Kremlin.

Rice agreed with Medvedev, saying the U.S. and Russia have “a firm foundation for cooperation” on missile defense, which the United States sees as a way to defend against missile from nations such as Iran and North Korea.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080317/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_russia_6

Iran: Retaliation for any Israeli attack

September 19, 2007

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has drawn up plans to bomb Israel if the Jewish state should attack, the deputy air force commander said Wednesday, adding to tensions already heated up by an Israeli airstrike on Syria and Western calls for more U.N. sanctions against Tehran.

Other Iranian officials also underlined their country’s readiness to fight if the U.S. or Israel attacks, a reflection of concerns in Tehran that demands by the U.S. and its allies for Iran to curtail its nuclear program could escalate into military action.

Read the rest at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070919/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_
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