Saturday, May 18, 2024

EU’s Mora: Delegates ‘almost there’ on reaching agreement in Vienna

The European Union’s representative in Vienna says the negotiating parties are “almost there” on reaching an agreement aimed at revitalizing the 2015 nuclear accord, after a pause was announced in the discussions.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, EU coordinator Enrique Mora said he hoped the negotiations would resume “very very soon,” and that he would continue working with all the teams to help resolve the outstanding topics.

The EU diplomat, who has been chairing the talks, added delegations had got to the point of “negotiating footnotes.”

He praised the United States and Iran, in particular, for to their “very constructive, very positive approach.”

Eleven months of negotiations between Tehran and the P4+1 group of states are said to be near completion.

Earlier in the day, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced the pause, citing “external factors” in a tweet.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the pause could create a momentum for resolving the remaining issues. It, however, stressed that external factors would not affect the will to move ahead with a collective agreement.

There has been media speculation that Russia’s new demands for guarantees from the US are delaying the talks, a claim rejected by Moscow’s envoy to the negotiations, Mikhail Ulyanov.

“The conclusion of the deal does not depend on Russia only,” he told reporters. “There are other actors who need additional time and who have additional concerns, and they are being discussed.”

In turn, the Chinese envoy, Wang Qun, also expressed hope that the negotiators would return within the next days, saying that there are still some issues that need to be finalized.

Meanwhile the British envoy, Stephanie al-Qaq, expressed disappointment with the pause and said a “fair and comprehensive” deal was ready for conclusion.

“Iran + US have worked hard to resolve final issues. E3 ready to conclude this deal now. External factors must be resolved in next few days or agreement likely to unravel,” she said in a tweet.

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