NAM Presidency Handed Over to Venezuela

NAM Presidency Handed Over to VenezuelaNAM Presidency Handed Over to Venezuela

Iran handed over the rotating presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement to Venezuela for three years.

It took place at the 17th summit of the heads of state and government of the international group held on Venezuela’s Margarita Island on Saturday, IRNA reported.

President Hassan Rouhani delivered the opening speech of the summit, in which he hoped Venezuela would help advance the agenda of the 120-member organization.

Rouhani also presented a report on the group’s performance under Iran’s watch. He said Iran helped maintain solidarity and unity among NAM member states, focus the group’s attention on the real tasks and make its voice heard in the international arena.

The 17th NAM summit, themed “Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development”, started with the meeting of experts last Tuesday and Wednesday, continued with the foreign ministerial meeting on Thursday and Friday, and wraps up with the heads of state gathering on Saturday and Sunday.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the foreign ministerial meeting of the summit and made its opening speech on Thursday, in which he said the spread of extremism around the world and external interferences in the countries’ internal affairs are major threats to the NAM and global peace.

Established in 1961, NAM is a group of states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The movement has 120 members and 21 observer countries, representing nearly two-thirds of the UN members.

*** Need for Oil Price Stability

Late on Friday, Rouhani held a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro.

The president said Iran welcomes closer relations with Venezuela in various sectors, adding that the revival of the joint economic commission can play a useful part in efforts to develop collaboration.

Rouhani also referred to the global oil glut that has seen prices fall dramatically in recent years, saying, “The stability of the [oil] market, fair prices and proper shares of producers will sustainably guarantee the interests of producers and consumers.”

Maduro said the two countries have many opportunities for cooperation, including joint investments in industrial, infrastructure and energy projects.

On the oil price crisis, the Venezuelan president said, “Oil producer countries have been hit hard by the slump and we should make united efforts to stabilize prices.”

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves and Iran ranks fourth in this regard.

After Venezuela, Rouhani will visit Cuba to meet his counterpart, Raul Castro, as well as Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

Then he will visit the UN headquarters in New York to take part in the  UN General Assembly’s 71st annual gathering of world leaders, the General Debate, which will be held during September 20-26.