Serbia to Attend Non-Aligned Meeting in Iran

Serbia’s Foreign Minister will participate as an observer in the upcoming Non-Aligned summit in September in Teheran, officials said.Serbia’s delegation will be led by the Foreign Minister, Ivan Mrkic, but it is still uncertain whether President Tomislav Nikolic will join the delegation.Nikolic received an invitation in July from the special envoy of the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Seska Stanojlovic, a foreign affairs experts, says attending the meeting in Teheran marks a continuation of the foreign policy of the previous minister, Vuk Jeremic, which centred on blocking international recognition of the independence of the former province of Kosovo.

“To stop further the recognition of Kosovo, Jermic renewed the relationship that former Yugoslavia had with the Non-Aligned Movement.

“We should wait and see the orientation of the new minister, but as far as I see he will continue a policy in which the Non-Aligned Movement is closer to us than the EU,” Stanojlovic said.

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, also announced his presence at the meeting, where he aims “to express the concern of the international community over Iran’s nuclear programme, about terrorism and the crisis in Syria”.

“If the UN Secretary General confirmed his presence at the meeting, it is also important for Serbia to be present. But it should be also seen if the European Union will be present,” Ognjen Pribicevic, a political analyst, said.

However, he also believes that Brussels will not hold it against Serbia if it participates in the Iran meeting.

According to Teheran, 100 countries already confirmed their presence at the meeting. It is expected that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be present, as well as Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

The Non-Aligned Movement was founded after the Second World War as a group of states who declined to align themselves with either the Soviet or the US-led blocs. As of 2012, the movement had 120 members and 21 observer countries.

The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely the brainchild of Yugoslavia’s president, Josip Broz Tito, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt’s second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah and Indonesia’s first president,Sukarno.

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