Upcoming NAM Summit in Tehran "very important"

Upcoming NAM Summit in Tehran "very important"

Non-Aligned Movement members area (blue color). (NAM)

"UN leaders have attended previous summits of the Movement."
United Nations (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - The upcoming 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran, Iran, is "very important " and is expected to be "another success", said Mootaz Khalil, chair of the Coordinating Bureau of NAM.

Khalil, who also serves as the permanent representative of Egypt to the United Nations, said he believed that the summit, to be held in Tehran on Aug. 26-31, will reaffirm the objectives and principles of NAM and will take appropriate decisions to address the evolving international challenges at the political and economic level.

"We expect that it will be another success in the journey to join all the developing countries and all the emerging countries in the developing world, looking for more political and economic independence," he said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.

When asked about reports that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon` s plan to attend the Tehran summit was opposed by some countries due to nuclear sanctions against Iran, Khalil said that the sanctions have nothing to do with Ban`s attendance at the meeting.

"The UN secretary-general, by definition, has to outreach to all countries," he said. "UN leaders have attended previous summits of the Movement. Ban was in Sharm El Sheikh in 2009 to attend the 15th summit of the Movement that took place in Egypt."

Khalil said that Ban is attending the NAM summit as part of assuming his responsibilities as the UN secretary-general, so as to outreach to all countries in the Movement.

"Sanction is another issue. There are UN sanctions against Iran, but they are focused on a very specific subject," the envoy said. "We hope Iran will cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to clarify this issue."

As for unilateral sanctions against Iran, Khalil noted that it is a decision by those countries that are imposing these sanctions and is not related to the United Nations.

Asked whether the NAM summit will be a boon for Iran`s international relations, Khalil stressed that hosting the summit is the responsibility of the country which receives the rotating presidency of NAM and will not bring direct benefits to the country`s international relations.

Khalil expected Iran, who will take over NAM`s rotating chairmanship from Egypt, to address the priorities of the Movement and to have a successful chairmanship that will reflect the interests of all the NAM countries.

"The summit, of course, adds to the status of the nation who is hosting it, but the status is added by the impartiality and the success of the chairmanship, not the opposite way around," he added.

Regarding Iran`s status in international relations as well as bilateral ties, Khalil said it is an issue of Iran itself.

Founded in former Yugoslavia in 1961, NAM, with 120 member states as of 2012, represent nearly two-thirds of the UN members and about 55 percent of the world population.