Belarus Lukashenko Meets Iran's Ahmadinejad in Havana


Aleksander Lukashenko, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed issues concerning the development of political, trade and economic partnership during the meeting in Havana September 15 on the sidelines of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The prime minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also took part in the meeting.

According to the Interfax news agency, the Belarusian leader confirmed his consent of paying a state visit to Iran and invited his Iranian counterpart to pay a state visit to Belarus. The president of Iran accepted the invitation.

Lukashenko, Ahmadinejad also agreed to meet in the near future in Tehran, Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov told reporters.

Belarus proposes that the Non-Alignment should have an action program that would clearly specify its aims and purposes and be aimed at making the movement one of the centers of political force in the modern world, Minister Martynov explained.

There are a group of states within the NAM that realize that the movement should advance to a new level, Martynov said. "These states, which include South Africa, India, Venezuela, Algeria and Malaysia, have the necessary political will, authority and serious resources," he noted, adding that Belarus is also among this group.

The Non-Aligned Movement, or NAM, is an international organization of over 100 states which consider themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

Officially the purpose of the organization as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, racism, including Zionism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics".

They represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations's members and comprise 55% of the world population.