Last Updated: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:55 am (KSA) 07:55 am (GMT)

U.N. chief arrives in Iran for the non-aligned summit: official

The United States and Israel have criticized U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon for attending the two-day summit of Non-Aligned Movement states in Tehran. (Reuters)
The United States and Israel have criticized U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon for attending the two-day summit of Non-Aligned Movement states in Tehran. (Reuters)

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon arrived in Tehran on Wednesday on the eve of a two-day summit of Non-Aligned Movement states, the Iranian government media service and state media said.

Ban was to see Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and other officials later Wednesday, according to state media.

On Thursday and Friday, he was to attend the NAM summit as an observer, at Ahmadinejad’s invitation.

His presence has been criticized by the United States and Israel, which are locked in a showdown with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

The summit is to gather leaders and senior officials from 120 states which account for nearly two-thirds of the U.N. member countries.

A spokesman for Ban said on Tuesday that the U.N. secretary general would press Iran’s leaders over “urgent” issues troubling the international community, particularly the Islamic republic’s nuclear activities and human rights record.

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