Australia reaches out to NAM states
Australian envoys attending a Non-aligned summit in Tehran tomorrow are to reach out to several participating countries, but will walk out of the event if Iranian leaders air their anti-Israeli rhetoric, an Australian foreign ministry spokesman said.
Australia's UN ambassador, Gary Quinlan, and a prime ministerial special envoy, Joanna Hewitt, will be attending the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit on Thursday and Friday as invited guests, the spokesman told AFP by telephone yesterday.
“If there is any anti-Israel rhetoric by Iranian officials, we will not attend, we will walk out,” he said.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is to open the summit on Thursday, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have both called Israel a “cancerous tumour” that should vanish from the Middle East. Ahmadinejad in the past has also denied the Holocaust that occurred during World War II.
Meanwhile, leaders from many of the world's developing states will gather in Tehran from tomorrow (Thursday) for a two-day summit expected to sharply attack the policies of the United States and other top developed countries.
Host nation Iran, in particular, is hailing the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting as a blow to Western efforts to isolate it over its disputed nuclear activities.