GENEVA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva for talks with his Iranian counterpart on how to speed up nuclear negotiations as a March target date approaches to conclude a deal.

Kerry arrived in Geneva late Tuesday and is to meet Wednesday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. A new round of nuclear negotiations between Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany is to begin in Geneva on Thursday.

The negotiators are trying to turn an interim accord into a permanent deal that would address international concerns about Iran's nuclear program. In November, after failing to meet an earlier deadline, they set March as the target for a framework agreement and the end of June for a final pact.

Kerry says he is meeting Zarif to take stock of the negotiations and try to accelerate them.

"We are at a juncture where most of the issues are now getting fleshed out and understood," Kerry told reporters on Monday in India before he flew to Pakistan and then on to Switzerland. He said he hoped to be able to "accelerate the process to make greater progress."

After meeting with Zarif, Kerry will travel to Sofia, Bulgaria for talks with officials and then to Paris, where he will see French officials and pay his respects to the victims of last week's deadly terrorist attacks.