De Villepin will meet with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov (L) and President Vladimir Putin (R) (file photo) (AFP)
13 February 2006 -- French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has arrived in Moscow for talks expected to focus on Iran's controversial nuclear program and the situation in the Middle East.
In an interview published today in the Russian newspaper “Rossiiskaya gazeta,” De Villepin stressed Europe was still willing to negotiate with Iran if it suspends all sensitive nuclear activities, adding that it is up to Iran to make the next move.
De Villepin's talks are also expected to focus on Moscow's invitation to Hamas leaders for talks later this month following Hamas' victory in recent Palestinian legislative elections.
The French-Russian talks will also cover Russia-EU ties and energy issues, as well as bilateral cooperation.
De Villepin is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov tomorrow.
READOn 4 February, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency approved in a 27-3 vote a resolution to report the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The key section of the resolution is Section 1, which states that the Board of Governors:
Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's program by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence-building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
- reestablish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and processing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
- reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
- ratify promptly and implement in full Additional Protocol;
- pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol with Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
- implement the transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, which extend beyond the former requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.
COMPLETE TEXT: To read the final resolution, with late-hour changes highlighted, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.