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President Zardari to attend NAM Summit in Tehran

August 27, 2012


President Zardari, accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, is expected to hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari will lead the Pakistani delegation to the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran.

President Zardari during his visit is also expected to hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, from August 29-31, being attended by 120 delegates from the developing countries.

He is also expected to meet Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, whom he last met in April, during his day-long private visit to India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to hold meetings with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leaders of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Indian media quoted Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai as saying.

President Zardari will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who will use the multinational forum to project Pakistan’s position on various international and regional issues.

During the two-day deliberations, world leaders and delegates from other countries will exchange views on the latest developments in the world and issues related to the NAM.

Along with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, two kings, 27 presidents, eight prime ministers, nine vice-presidents, six special envoys, and around 25 foreign ministers will attend the summit.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Minister told reporters in Tehran that all neighbouring countries of Iran were participating in the meeting. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia has sent his special envoy, while Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa will also participate in the summit.

It will be the first visit by a Bahraini official to Iran since tensions between the two countries began last year. Egypt, which hosted the 15th Summit, will hand over rotating chairmanship to Iran.

The 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) will be held at Tehran’s IRIB International Conference Center (IICC).

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will open the NAM foreign ministerial meeting on Tuesday, while the NAM leaders are scheduled to attend the summit on Thursday and Friday.

The NAM officials have prepared a draft document of the summit, containing 688 articles that will be discussed in the two-day meeting of experts.

The articles relate to world and international issues, regional crises such as Middle East and Latin America and development, human rights, food and health security and treatment.

The NAM officials say a statement will be issued on Palestine and a comprehensive plan to solve the Syrian crisis will be presented.

Iran will try to lobby with participating delegations to change the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) into an organization so as to make its approvals binding on member states.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chairman of the Presidium of the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly (parliament) Kim Yong-nam, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan, Lebanese President Michel Sulaiman, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe are some of important international figures, who are scheduled to attend the summit.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and acting Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also plan to attend the summit.

The 120-member grouping has 17 observer countries, besides 10 observer organisations, including the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Commonwealth Secretariat.