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Rediff.com  » News » PM off to Iran on Aug 28 for NAM, to meet Ayatollah

PM off to Iran on Aug 28 for NAM, to meet Ayatollah

August 25, 2012 16:12 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave for Iran on August 28 to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, which will be preceded by crucial bilateral talks with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A host of meeting with the leaders of other NAM countries, including Pakistan, is also likely to take place on the sidelines of the 16th Summit of 120-nation grouping, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said while briefing reporters in New Delhi on Prime Minister's four-day Iran visit.

Singh's bilateral meet with Iranian leadership assumes significance as it will take place at a time when the US is pushing India to reduce engagement with Iran and implement sanctions imposed by some countries over its controversial nuclear programme.

"We had indeed proposed to schedule a meeting with Khamenei. During the meeting the Prime Minister will raise all issues for India-Iran bilateral relations and issues of interest and concern to us.

"Peace and security is, indeed, our primary concern given just how important the entire West Asia region, Gulf region, in particular, is for India's security and for Indian economy, both in terms of oil imports and our exports. So, this is our own concern and we don't have to take anybody else is concern," he said.

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