News / Europe

Britain’s Hague Says Iran Nuclear Deal Within Reach

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu shake hands after a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 20, 2013.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu shake hands after a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 20, 2013.
Dorian Jones
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday that the differences between Iran and world powers over a potential deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program are narrow and a deal is within reach. Hague is in Istanbul attending a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 2003 Istanbul bombings, in which al-Qaida attacked the British consulate.
 
Speaking at a joint press conference, Foreign Secretary Hague played down the warning made Wednesday by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ahead of a resumption of talks in Geneva, that the country would not step back one iota from its nuclear rights.  

“The differences between the parties are narrow, and I believe they can be bridged with political will and commitment, so this is an historic opportunity to build agreement on how to curb nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” said Hague.

The Geneva talks between Tehran and world powers aim to resolve international concerns that Iran’s nuclear energy program is being used to develop weapons, a charge denied by Tehran.

After a first round of talks earlier this month, both sides claimed substantial progress had been made. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gave his support to those efforts, saying they are aimed at ensuring a nuclear free region.
 
The Turkish foreign minister said he would discuss Iran’s nuclear energy program during his visit to Tehran later this month.

Ankara is trying to improve strained ties with its neighbors.

One key player in the region is Syria, whose ongoing conflict was also discussed during the meeting between the British and Turkish foreign ministers. Hague promised $750 million in aid for Syrian refugees and called on Damascus to immediately allow aid to reach all of Syria's regions.

The British foreign minister also paid tribute to Turkey for its humanitarian assistance and support for the Syrian opposition. Hague also said he will help curtail the threat of the growing presence of jihadist fighters -- some linked to al-Qaida -- within the Syrian opposition.

“We’ve discussed the specific threat from terrorism arising from the Syrian conflict, something else we have to confront and defeat,” he said.

Observers say there is growing concern that Ankara is not doing enough to stop jihadists using Turkey as a bridge into Syria. Turkey has a 900-kilometer border with Syria, and Ankara has been repeatedly accused of providing tacit, if not direct, support to extreme Islamic groups fighting the Syrian regime.

But Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, says Ankara has changed its stance.

“Turkey is trying to convince its Western partners that it has disengaged from helping some of the more Islamist elements among [the] Syrian opposition,” said Ulgen. "This has been an area of criticism from Turkey’s partners in the West.”

In past few weeks, Turkish leaders have stepped up their condemnation of radical Islamic groups in Syria. Police raids have been carried out against al-Qaida cells in Turkey this past month, and Foreign Minister Davutoglu told reporters Wednesday that Turkey is committed to fighting terrorism anywhere in the world.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid