State's Burns Visits Moscow To Discuss Iran, Upcoming G8 Summit
Under secretary of state to travel to Russia April 18-20
Washington -- Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns plans to visit Moscow April 18-20 to discuss the challenge of the Iran nuclear program as well as preparations for the July summit of the Group of Eight (G8) countries, the State Department announced.
On April 18, Burns will represent the United States in discussions about Iran with representatives of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, China, and Russia, the State Department said April 14. “They will discuss the need for significant action by the United Nations Security Council in response to Iran's decision to accelerate enrichment research,” the announcement said. (See related article.)
On April 19, Burns and his counterparts from the Group of Eight (G8) nations will discuss preparations for the summit scheduled for July 15-17 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The G8 includes the seven largest industrialized countries -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States -- plus Russia. (See related article.)
The political directors “will address the challenges and opportunities for G-8 leaders and ministers to consider as we approach the July 15-17 summit,” according to the statement. Among the issues the political directors will discuss are Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Sudan, freedom in Europe and Eurasia, nonproliferation, energy security and the fight against terrorism and narcotics.
Burns also plans to meet with a number of senior Russian officials and others in Moscow regarding U.S.-Russian relations and other foreign policy issues. He completed a similar trip to Moscow in February to work on preparations for the G8 summit, and at that meeting the Iran nuclear issue was also an important agenda item as well as the subject of an interview with CNN.