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Historic Tehran NAM Summit

Summit has potential provided participants take full advantage.

by Stephen Lendman

After the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is the most important world body. Hopefully its 16th summit will infuse it with new life. 

As host, Iran has a historic opportunity. At the same time, it can enhance its own prestige and enlist support against hostile Washington/Israeli designs.

August 26 began six days of sessions and discussions. Proceedings began with an experts meeting.

During the opening session, Egypt's permanent UN representative, Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil, ceremonially passed NAM's presidential baton to Iran. For the next three years, Tehran will head the organization. 

Hosting NAM is significant. Assuming leadership affords added prestige. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mihmanparast said 118 foreign delegations will attend. Russia and China are there as observer nations. So is Australia.

Participants sent 27 presidents, eight prime ministers, nine vice presidents, six special envoys, up to 25 foreign ministers, other high-level ministers, and two kings. 

The Tehran Times named some of the participating dignitaries. They include:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, North Korea's parliamentary chairman Kim Yong-nam, Cuba's Raul Castro, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Pakistani 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.

Despite tensions between the two countries, Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (King Abdullah's son) will attend. He's currently acting deputy foreign minister.

Bahrain's foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa will also participate. In March 2011, Manama recalled its ambassador in protest over Tehran's condemnation of Bahraini police state violence. Iran responded in kind by recalling its envoy. 

On August 12, Bahrain returned it ambassador to Tehran. Days later, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein amir-Abdollahian said Iran wouldn't return its ambassador to Manama as long as crackdowns continued.

In advance of the summit, a document with 688 articles was prepared. They'll be discussed during the two-day meeting of experts. Topics include international issues, regional crises, human rights, food and health security, as well as matters relating to economic development.

One statement will focus on Palestine. Another will be a comprehensive plan to end Washington's war on Syria. A contact group will be established to help defuse the conflict. One-on-one and multilateral discussions will be held on how to do it.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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