Last Updated: 2012-08-30
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TEHRAN, Aug 30 (NNN-FNA) -- Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi officially handed the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the inaugural ceremony of the 16th NAM Summit here on Thursday morning.

The Egyptian president delivered the NAM's presidency to Iran after addressing the audience in the inauguration ceremony of the NAM summit.

The 16th heads-of-state summit of the NAM was inaugurated with a keynote speech by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, in which he praised the founders of the NAM and its operation in the last 60 years, but said the movement should boost its international role and clout through increased operations and fresh movements.

The Leader said the world is entering a new era and the NAM should play a bigger role in this new world, adding that all world countries should have a share in global management.

"States should raise their relations on the basis of common interests and not threat and intimidation," he said.

The Leader said the world should not be ruled by a few number of "bullying powers."

He said the "UN Security Council has a completely unfair structure, and the US and its allies have been misusing this unfair structure to materialize their interests."

The NAM summit is held at the Leaders' Summit Hall in northern Tehran and will last for two days.

The summit is being held after a two-day experts meeting and a foreign ministerial meeting of the NAM member states which also lasted for two days.

The United States and Israel are among the nations fearful that the summit, drawing a reported 50 or more heads of state and government, will give Tehran a boost in legitimacy and rally disgruntled states to the defense of its nuclear programmes.

The Islamic Republic's three-year tenure as head of the NAM is a chance for Tehran to elevate its international standing as the United States seeks to cripple its economy and isolate it diplomatically over its disputed nuclear programme.

Many analysts say that the diplomatic spotlight will give Tehran an opportunity to show Washington has failed to cut it off from the rest of the world.

Around 110 states are attending the conference and more than 45 states have sent their top officials to the heads-of-state summit.

The guest list includes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Morsi, the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

The NAM is an international organisation of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The NAM is the largest grouping of countries outside of the United Nations.

The NAM member states represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members and comprise 55 per cent of the world population, particularly countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World.