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Fabius Cancels Visit to Kazakhstan to Stay in Lausanne


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LAUSANNE (Reuters) – The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius canceled a trip to Kazakhstan, which was scheduled for Monday in order to stay in Lausanne to negotiate on Iran’s nuclear, a French diplomatic source said on Sunday. The French minister was due to travel to Kazakhstan with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who arrived in Lausanne on Saturday to take part in negotiations on the nuclear program of Tehran.

According to diplomatic sources in Switzerland, Steinmeier neither will go to Kazakhstan. Fabius and Steinmeier joined the talks on Saturday, and their counterparts from China, Britain and Russia were to take part later on Sunday.

Negotiators are approaching Tuesday’s deadline for the conclusion of a framework agreement, supposed to fix the outlines of a final accord, which must be concluded no later than June 30.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who saw Sunday morning his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, has meanwhile cancelled a trip to Boston to stay in Lausanne to negotiate.

Zarif & Kerry begin the 5th round of negotiations in Lausanne
(Credit: ISNA/Amin Khosroshahi)

Progress was reported at nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group on Saturday, TASS quoted a source as saying, adding that a political declaration from all parties is possible in the coming days. “There is some progress […] negotiations are ongoing”, said the source. “The critical moment to make decisions is coming up […] with the probability of success at 90% or more as of now.” Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told TASS that he puts the success of the talks at just over 50%, stating that he sees “some progress being made, with some obstacles remaining.” The source added that the positions of all sides are becoming clear and issues around the future of Fordo nuclear facility are being resolved. The Iran nuclear talks include the P5+1 powers – China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US, plus Germany. They are aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel meanwhile kept up its public campaign against the possible nuclear deal with Tehran. “I say here, this morning, in the name of the government of Israel, this is a bad deal, full of holes”, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio.

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