Tehran denies Iran-US talks at The Hague

April 1st, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, April 1 (IANS) Iran Wednesday said that no formal “negotiation” took place between its diplomat and US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke on the sidelines of an international conference in The Hague, Press TV reported.
“As talks between Iran and the US have not been on the agenda, there has certainly been no negotiation with the American envoy,” Iran’s delegation to the conference on Afghanistan said in a statement.

Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh, Iran’s deputy foreign minister who led the country’s delegation to the Dutch conference, explained Wednesday that Iran “does not oppose such encounters, but the conference was about assisting Afghanistan and not about settling our differences.”

“We are not in a game of hide-and-seek; we pursue an unambiguous and transparent policy,” he said.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Holbrooke had a chat with Akhoundzadeh on the sidelines of the conference, which was aimed at restoring security in Iran’s violence-stricken neighbour.

“In the course of the conference today our special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrook had a brief and cordial exchange with the head of the Iranian delegation,” Clinton told reporters.

“It was cordial, unplanned and they agreed to stay in touch,” she added.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA, meanwhile, reported that Akhoundzadeh held meetings with a number of foreign diplomats and officials, including three foreign ministers of Italy, Norway and Australia during the Afghan conference.

The discussions during those meetings were related to the problems of Afghanistan and on how to restore peace and sustainable stability in the war-torn country, IRNA reported.

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