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EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton was expected to urge the Iranian side to recognize the need to discuss international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and perhaps renew a 2008 offer providing Iran with technical support for peaceful nuclear activities as well as trade and other incentives in exchange for focusing on its atomic program.

Diplomats were also watching to see if Jalili would meet U.S. counterpart William Burns in a bilateral meeting — something they refused to do in Geneva.

The nuclear talks are being held in the Ciragan Palace, resplendent with marble fittings, balconies and chandeliers, along the Bosporus strait, which divides Istanbul between the Asian and European continents. Fire destroyed the former Ottoman palace in the early 20th century, but the building was restored two decades ago and part of it was turned into a five-star hotel.

Associated Press writers Ali Akbar Dareini, Christopher Torchia and Suzan Fraser contributed to this report.