Kerry, Iran's Zarif to focus on nuclear deal in weekend meeting as deadline for accord nears


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WASHINGTON — The top U.S. and Iranian diplomats plan to meet this weekend in Switzerland as efforts intensify to reach a comprehensive nuclear accord.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold talks Saturday in Geneva.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke says the goal is to make progress toward an agreement by an end of June deadline.

European and Iranian officials have suggested the talks may require more time. But Rathke says the U.S. isn't considering an extension.

Kerry leaves Washington on Thursday for Nigeria, where he'll attend Muhammadu Buhari's (moo-HAH'-mah-doo boo-HAH'-reez) presidential inauguration.

From Geneva, Kerry will head to Madrid to meet with Spain's king and prime minister. Later, Kerry will attend a conference in Paris on fighting the Islamic State group.

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