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Jan 16, 2015 6:57 AM

Kerry to meet Iranian foreign minister in Paris

The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) An American official says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his Iranian counterpart in Paris on Friday in what will be their second face-to-face encounter this week.

The American official said the meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif will take place at Kerry's hotel in the French capital before he returns to Washington. The pair spent six hours together in Geneva on Wednesday on the eve of a new round of nuclear negotiations among Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.

The Paris meeting comes as the negotiators in Geneva grapple to reach a framework accord that would address international concerns about Iran's nuclear program by a March target date.

Kerry is in Paris to show US solidarity with France in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks and Zarif is in the city primarily to see French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

France has taken a tough public line on the negotiations and French President Francois Hollande reiterated that point on Friday in a speech to 200 foreign diplomats.

"France wants a final agreement but not in any conditions," he said. "With a clear approach: Yes to access of Iran to civil nuclear energy, no to its access to nuclear weapon. We won't compromise on that principle."


Associated Press writer Sylvie Corbet contributed to this report.


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