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UN chief meets Iranian President

UN chief meets Iranian President

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern over the "inflammatory" rhetoric and threats emanating from various countries in the Middle East when he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here.

Ahmadinejad arrived in New York to attend the 67th session of the UN General Assembly and will address the world body on September 26.

Ban discussed developments in Syria and the Middle East in his meeting yesterday with Ahmadinejad, according to a statement from Ban's spokesperson.

Ban stressed the grave implications of the worsening situation in Syria and underlined the devastating humanitarian impact.

The UN Chief "also drew attention to the potentially harmful consequences of inflammatory rhetoric, counter- rhetoric and threats from various countries in the Middle East," the statement said.

Ban also urged Iran to take the necessary measures to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

Iran's nuclear activities have been of international concern since the discovery, in 2003, that Iran had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years, in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but many countries contend it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

The Secretary-General also expressed the hope that under Iran's Chairmanship, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) would continue to play constructive role in world affairs.

Ban recently attended the 16th NAM summit in the Iranian capital Tehran where he met with various Iranian officials.

In previous years, western ambassadors have staged a walk out during Ahmadinejad's address to the UN.


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