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Published:August 29th, 2012 10:56 EST

UN Chief Ban Arrives In Iran, Meets With Iranian Leaders

By SOP newswire3

Ban Ki-moon arrived in Iran earlier today and has just finished a series of meetings with Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to a United Nations spokesperson.

Soon after arriving in Tehran, the UN chief attended a working lunch at the Parliament Building with the Speaker, Ali Larijani, and other officials, and later had meetings with President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

banIn all these meetings, the Secretary-General conveyed the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people, " the spokesperson told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

These include Iran`s nuclear programme, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria. We expect to be able more details on these talks later, " he added.

The UN chief is in Iran to attend the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Taking place in the capital, Tehran, and under the chairmanship of Iran, the NAM Summit began on Sunday and ends on Friday, and is expected to draw representatives from its 120 members, as well as from various associated observer countries. The UN chief will address the Summit on Thursday.

I am very pleased to visit Iran and looking forward to having very constructive and useful discussions and meetings with senior leadership of Iran and I am also looking forward to meeting people and learn more about culture and history of Iran, " Mr. Ban said in a media encounter upon arrival at Tehran`s Mehrabad International Airport, earlier on Wednesday.

The Secretary-General also congratulated Iran for its chairmanship of the NAM Summit.

This is very important opportunity for Iran to play a very important role as moderate and constructive leader of the international community in addressing all the challenges, " he said, adding that Iran has a very important " role to play in the region, particularly when it comes to the situation in Syria.

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