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PTI - May 28 2006
Draft of NAM meet statement backs Iran on nuke issue
Sun May 28, 2006 11:51

Draft of NAM meet statement backs Iran on nuke issue
PTI - May 28 2006
http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=298562&sid=WOR

Putrajaya, May 28: Foreign Ministers of non-aligned movement nations plan to back Iran's nuclear programme, according to the draft of a statement to be adopted at a NAM ministerial meeting beginning here tomorrow.

The ministers assert all nations have the right to research, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, a copy of the draft obtained by Kyodo News said.

The draft calls for a "balanced and even-handed" approach toward the Iranian nuclear issue and denounces threats to attack "peaceful" nuclear facilities.

It is expected to defend NAM member Iran's nuclear programme by saying the activities are under the eye of the international atomic energy agency.

"Any rightful nuclear activity for peaceful purposes under the agency's safeguards does not constitute any concern," the draft says.

The issue should be resolved within the IAEA framework and countries should not pressure the IAEA or interfere in its work, it says urging Iran to cooperate with the agency.

However, there is disagreement among NAM members over the proposed statement, which officials said was mainly prepared by Malaysia, Iran and Indonesia. Some members are also calling for a more "realistic" approach to the problem.

Iran officials said they expected the 114-member NAM to support its uranium enrichment programme.

The fact the draft supports Iran "might be considered a triumph ... But what is important is the cooperation and understanding among NAM countries to support one of its states in peaceful use of nuclear energy," head of Iran's delegation Pirooz Hosseini told reporters.

"The Iranian nuclear issue is purely for peaceful purposes and this is being endorsed by the non-aligned member countries. It shows the solidarity among the member countries," Hosseini said.

Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is expected to arrive in Malaysia tomorrow for the two-day ministerial meet.

Other issues like that of the Korean peninsula will be mentioned in a 'final document', a tome of almost 70 pages encompassing issues NAM considers important, Kyodo News said.

The document, to be adopted by the ministers and issued on the last day of the meeting, will express support for early resumption of six-party talks to resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear aims, it said.

The 'final document' will also focus on reform of the United Nations, including a call for the UN General Assembly to play a greater role in choosing the next secretary general, a move being pushed by India and several other countries.

The ministers also plan to issue a separate statement on Palestine.

Bureau Report

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