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Annan's meeting with Iran's president Ahmadinejad

Meeting Iran's president, Annan stresses need to avoid diplomatic standstill

At a meeting in Africa today with Iranian President Mohamed Ahmadinejad, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed that every effort should be made to avoid any standstill in the diplomatic process aimed at averting a confrontation over the nuclear issue.

According to a read-out of the encounter on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Banjul, Gambia provided by officials traveling with Mr. Annan, the Secretary-General said he was appreciative at the way Iran had been constructively engaged since the proposal by the Permanent Members of the Security Council and Germany had been put forward.

Those States have offered incentives in return for Iran's abandoning its uranium enrichment programme. Iran says its activities are aimed at the production of energy but the United States and other countries insist it is clandestinely seeking to produce nuclear weapons.

Mr. Annan “said he was pleased that Iran showed a serious commitment to the process,” the read-out stated.

“President Ahmadinejad underlined to the Secretary-General his positive approach to the issue and said he had given instructions that this issue be resolved peacefully. President Ahmadinejad said it was important at this time that all parties refrain taking action that could have a negative impact on the process.”

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