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Manmohan, Zardari to meet in Iran during NAM summit

PTI 08 Aug 2012, 9:34:52 AM IST
Islamabad, Aug 8: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari in Iran during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit on August 29.

Both the leaders are expected to meet each other on the sidelines of the summit. The two leaders would review the progress in bilateral relations in various fields.
Zardari will undertake a three-day visit to attend the 16th Summit of the NAM, a grouping of 120 countries of the erstwhile Third World.
According to sources,Dr Singh is expected to have bilateral meetings with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Zardari on the sidelines of the summit .
Singh's visit and meeting with Ahmedinejad 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 western countries over its controversial nuclear programme.
Iran is under pressure from the world powers on the issue of its nuclear weapons and is supporting the Syrian regime led by President Bashar-al-Assad.
Ahmedinejad had called up Singh in May to invite him for the summit with an emphasis that expansion of ties in different fields would lead to “considerable achievements” for both nations.
The Indian PM, on his part, had told him that India attaches great importance to ties with Iran and called for further expansion of cooperation.
The US has been pushing India to cut its oil imports from Iran, which accounts 12 per cent of its total crude imports, as part of implementation of the sanctions imposed on the Persian nation. India has been maintaining that it would implement only those sanctions which are imposed by the UN.