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Kerry and Australian, Japanese concerned about Iran

  |   Oct. 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterparts from Australia and Japan expressed "concern" over Iran's nuclear program, the State Department said.

Kerry, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met Friday in Bali, Indonesia, at the fifth ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue, the State Department said in a release. The TSD meeting was held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum Ministerial meeting.

Kerry, Bishop and Kishida "reiterated their concern regarding the Iranian nuclear program," the statement said, while welcoming last week's announcement of another round of talks between Iran and the E3+3 -- the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany and Russia -- in Geneva, Switzerland, Oct. 15-16.

They "encouraged Iran to engage substantively with the E3+3 in the new round of talks" and to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The three also "affirmed their commitment to the TSD process as it allows for a timely exchange of views on the regional strategic environment," the release said. "The ministers discussed ways in which all three countries could collaborate and contribute to regional stability and sustained economic prosperity."

All three said they welcomed a U.N. Security Council resolution a decision by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons executive council calling on Syria to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons and expressed "deep concern at North Korea's continued development of its nuclear and missile programs and proliferation activities."

The ministers called on Pyongyang to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions on the issue and to abandon its nuclear weapons "and all existing nuclear programs in a complete and verifiable manner."

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