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Sanctions, U.N. reforms top NAM agenda

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To call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders

Stark reminders:The cars in which three Iranian nuclear scientists were travelling when they were killed in bombings over the last three years on display in Tehran on Tuesday.— Photo: AP
Stark reminders:The cars in which three Iranian nuclear scientists were travelling when they were killed in bombings over the last three years on display in Tehran on Tuesday.— Photo: AP

Condemnation of “unilateral” actions — particularly sanctions on Iran and other nations — and a demand for greater say in U.N. decision-making dominated talks in Tehran on Tuesday preparing for a non-aligned summit later this week.

Foreign Ministers from Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) states were holding two days of discussions to prepare the ground for the summit, which will gather dozens of heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday.

Other issues to be covered included a call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders; and an appeal for nuclear disarmament, particularly in West Asia, as a path to world peace, according to draft documents before the Ministers.

Combating terrorism, and upholding human rights and development were also included.

A working document made available on Iran’s official NAM website said one of the general principles being upheld was strengthening solidarity with NAM members “living under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation, and with those experiencing external threats of use of force, acts of aggression or unilateral coercive measures”.

Elsewhere, it detailed those themes, for instance calling on members to refuse to follow “unilateral economic sanctions” on NAM states.

More than 50 Foreign Ministers were involved in the discussions, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. They were building on work done in the two preceding days by lower-ranking officials and experts.

“Today we are at a time in which, without exaggeration, international relations are quite sensitive,” said Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy as he opened the ministerial meeting before officially handing over the rotating NAM presidency to Iran. “The meeting is providing a more advanced look at [global] developments by reinforcing cooperation among developing countries and international organisations,” he said.

Iran is portraying this week’s summit as a blow to U.S.-led efforts to isolate it internationally. — AFP

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