ROME, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Italy's foreign minister Federica Mogherini hold talks with Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif on Wednesday.
The two top diplomats met at the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome, and both expressed hopes that "a positive agreement on Iran's nuclear program" could be reached before the November 24 deadline set by international negotiations.
Iran's foreign minister arrived in Rome earlier on Wednesday at the invitation of Mogherini, as third and last stop of his three-nation diplomatic tour in Europe.
"I took the opportunity to be updated on the status of nuclear negotiations," Mogherini said at the press conference after the meeting. "We clearly share the same perspective on the need to reach an agreement on the nuclear issue by November, which could allow greater stability and security in the region. I hope negotiations will lead to a positive agreement and within the established time, that is November 23," she added.
The Iranian foreign minister for his part welcomed the recent appointment of Mogherini as next high representative of European Union (EU) foreign policy.
"We wish for a closer relationship with Italy and with the EU," Zarif declared at the press conference.
He also stressed the positive role Italy could play as a "bridge" between Europe and the Islamic World, and added that "this role could be strengthened with the appointment of Mogherini as EU top diplomat."
Zarif had already held talks in Belgium and Luxembourg in the previous days, and met with outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and the president of the EU Council Herman Van Rompuy, to discuss issues related to Iran's nuclear program, terrorism and the stability of the Middle East.
A six-month interim deal on Iranian nuclear program was reached in Geneva in November 2013. Under such a deal, the parts have proceeded with negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive agreement. The talks' deadline was later extended to November 24, 2014.