Tuesday Nov 19, 201305:23 PM GMT
Iran FM meets with his Italian counterpart in Rome
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino at the Foreign Ministry in Rome on November 19, 2013.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino at the Foreign Ministry in Rome on November 19, 2013.
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has arrived in Rome on a short official visit to hold talks with senior Italian officials on issues including the Iranian nuclear energy program.


In a stopover in Rome en route to Geneva in Switzerland, Zarif also discussed issues of mutual concern such as the latest developments in the Middle East and the Syrian crisis in particular.

Statistics released by the United Nations show that more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil in Syria. The world body has recently warned that over nine million people in Syria are in need of urgent humanitarian aid.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Later on Tuesday, the Iranian foreign minister will travel to Geneva for a new round of talks over Iran's nuclear energy program with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US - plus Germany.

Iran and the six powers will resume their negotiations on Wednesday under intense lobbying effort and pressures by Israel to prevent a possible deal between the two sides.

During the last round of talks in Geneva, a first-step agreement was within reach but the position taken by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in favor of the Israeli regime and a lack of commitment by US Secretary of State John Kerry spoiled the negotiations.

SF/HMV/SS
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