A high-ranking 150-member delegation led by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will travel to the Iranian capital to attend the forthcoming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Iranian envoy to New Delhi says. The Indian premier is scheduled to visit Tehran on August 29 to take part in the summit, Mahdi Nabizadeh told Mehr News Agency on Tuesday. The ambassador added that Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon will accompany Singh during his visit to Tehran.
Nabizadeh noted that the participation of such a high-ranking delegation from India in the NAM summit would have "positive and constructive" effects on regional and bilateral ties between Tehran and New Delhi.The visit will come as the US has been trying to persuade India to reduce its cordial ties with Iran. India has stressed that its foreign policy on the Islamic Republic is only guided by its own principles. The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held on August 26-31 in the Iranian capital Tehran during which the Islamic Republic will assume the rotating presidency of the movement for three years. Director General for International Affairs at Iran's Presidential Office and the spokesman for the organizing committee of the summit Mohammad Reza Forqani said on Saturday that the heads of 35 NAM member states will attend the Tehran summit. Around 100 countries have so far announced that they will be present in the meeting, Forqani added. NAM, an international organization with 120 member states and 21 observer countries, is considered as not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. DB/HMV/HJL