PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has arrived in the Iran for the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which opens capital Tehran on Thursday.
Mugabe was welcomed by Iran's Communication Minister Reza Taqipour as well as Zimbabwe's ambassador to Iran, Nicholas Kitikiti, Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and presidential spokesman George Charamba when he landed at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport.
More than 100 countries are taking part in the summit which kicked off at expert level on Sunday with Iran taking over from Egypt the rotating presidency of the movement for the next three years.
Mumbengewi said the NAM was the second largest international organisation after the United Nations and needed a country with the necessary power and influence to lead it.
“Clearly, NAM summit is an extremely important organisation,” he said.
“This movement [the Non-aligned Movement] should have brave, strategic, firm and innovative leadership and this leadership should be ideologically clear, and I think Iran has all these characteristics.
“We are very thrilled and happy about Iran's presidency (and) believe a different perspective awaits the Non-Aligned Movement in the next three years [with Iran's presidency].”
He however, emphasised the need for stronger economic and political ties among the NAM countries.
“We must expand political and economic cooperation to stand against Western threats and sanctions,” he said.