>By SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press Writer
ANKARA, Turkey – Iran’s Foreign Minister said Friday that forthcoming nuclear talks in Geneva and the participation of a U.S. diplomat for the first time look positive and he expects progress.
U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns right and Undersecretary Jeffries,left.
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns was expected to attend the talks in Geneva on Saturday — the first time the U.S. has had such a presence — and join colleagues from other world powers to meet with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.
“The new negotiation process (and) the participation of a U.S. diplomat look positive from the outset, but we hope that is reflected in the talks,” Mottaki told a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.
He said the presence of U.S. representative “is a new positive approach.”
Meanwhile, Burns met Friday for about 20 minutes with International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed Elbaradei to discuss Iran’s contentious atomic program. He did not speak to reporters before leaving.
The U.S. has shifted from its confrontational policy of isolating Iran in favor of a diplomatic approach.
The U.S. administration is also floating a proposal to open a de facto U.S. Embassy in Tehran. U.S. diplomats would go to Iran for the first time in almost 30 years, since the countries broke relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution
“I think there might be an agreement both on the issue of opening a U.S. interest protection bureau in Iran and on the issue of direct flights to Iran,” Mottaki said.
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