The news that an American official, William J. Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, will attend a meeting led by Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, seems to me to be big news:
First, the Bush administration has decided to abandon its longstanding position that it will only meet face-to-face with Iran after it first suspends uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council.
Second, it infuses the negotiating track between Iran on the one side and the six global powers France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the United States on the other with new importance, even though their official stance is that no substantive talks can begin until the uranium enrichment stops.
It's remarkable how much convergence is happening right now - most of it good news.
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