Iran: Ban's non-attendance at NAM summit will sideline UN

Iran Materials 20 August 2012 13:04 (UTC +04:00)

A decision by the UN chief to stay away from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran would not affect the bloc but would sideline the role of the world body at the gathering, Iran said Monday, reported dpa.

Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to attend the six day summit which opens on Sunday, but the United States and Israel have criticized his plan. Ban last week condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest anti-Israel remarks.

"The non-participation of Ban Ki-moon will not cause any problems for the NAM summit but will decrease the UN role at such an international gathering," said Ali Larijani, Iran's speaker of parliament was quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

Larijani praised the president of Egypt for planning to attend the Tehran summit, as reported by the MENA news agency. Iran and Egypt have had no diplomatic ties since Iran's revolution in 1979 because of Cairo's peace treaty with Israel.

"The doors between the two countries were closed during the dictatorship era of Hosny Mubarak but with (Mohamed) Morsi's presence in Iran, bilateral relations would get closer and that would be useful for both sides."