|Zardari, Singh to meet in Iran|
03 August 2012
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will have an important meeting later this month in Tehran.
The two will be in the Iranian capital to attend the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states summit and their meeting will take place on the fringes of the summit. Pakistan and India both have accepted the invitation for participating in the summit to be held from August 26 to 31 in Tehran.
The two leaders will have discussions with regard to the recent developments in the bilateral relations of the two countries and of region during their interaction.Zardari-Singh meeting took place in April last in New Delhi when Zardari visited India to pay his respect at the shrine in Ajmair and again has formally invited Dr Singh to visit Pakistan through a letter that was consigned to him last week.
It is understood that the President Zardari will revive his invitation to the Indian premier and in all probabilities the visit could take place in November this year. Dr Singh will visit Nankana Sahib and Attock besides visiting Islamabad.
Well placed diplomatic sources told The News here Thursday that President Zardari will have some other meeting including with host counterpart Ahmedinejad. The visit of the president to Iran will have conspicuous significance since it would be carried out in 10 days after his visit to Saudi Arabia where the summit of the Muslim countries is being held on 14th of this month in Makkah.
Pakistan is in quandary because most of the Arab countries are not comfortable with Iran and Syria due to the reasons. Syria has not been invited for the Islamic summit of Makkah as it enjoys strong bonds with Iran. It is unlikely that most of the Arab countries will turn up in Tehran NAM summit on pinnacle level.
The United States, Israel, and their European allies are pulling out all the stops to isolate Iran over its nuclear programme, the upcoming meeting of the NAM summit in Tehran seems to be throwing a spanner in their works.
The NAM, the rotating presidency of which will be conferred to Iran on August 26, is a major international organization comprising 120 member states that represent the political, cultural, economic, and social interests of the developing world.
The movement, which is comprised of two-thirds of UN member states, was established in 1961 in Belgrade. Despite the fact that the majority of its members are developing nations, many of them play a defining and determining role in such strategic regions as the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America.
The sources pointed out that President Zardari will be having meeting separately with Iranian president and Saudi King with the gap of ten days but it is unlikely that Pakistan would be able to play any go-between role in the meetings. Iran is not willing to accept mediatory role by Pakistan for the normalization of its relations with Saudi Arabia. The visiting leaders from Pakistan will have to maintain delicate balance in dealing both the capitals since both the hosts are very sensitive in each other’s case, the sources reminded.
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