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 Anti-Muslim Sponsor of Texas Cartoon Contest Draws Ire

Pamela Geller's supporters say she speaks truth about sensitive topic, while critics say she preaches 'that Islam is inherently evil' More

East Meets West in Exhibition Showing Chinese Influence on Fashion

Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition juxtaposes influence of art, imagery and culture, from Imperial China to the present day, on Western fashion and design More

South Africa Begins New Love Affair With Vinyl Records

Enthusiasts say the 'rebirth' of vinyl is resulting in a rebirth of music in South Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs