Egyptdan#039;s President Mursi at Tehran non-aligned summit
Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has arrived in Iran to attend a two-day summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
It is the first visit to Iran by an Egyptian leader since the countries broke off diplomatic relations in 1979 over Egypt's truce with Israel.
Iran is hoping the summit of leaders from around the world will boost its position on the international stage.
On the agenda are finding a solution to the crisis in Syria, human rights and nuclear disarmament.
The event has already upset the US – which has imposed tight sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear programme – after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his attendance.
The two-day summit, which caps a week of meetings in Tehran, involves delegates and leaders from 50 countries of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (Nam).
Other leaders in attendance include Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa.
The BBC's Tehran correspondent, James Reynolds, says the meeting gives Iran a chance to fight back at Western efforts to isolate it over its nuclear activities.
Mr Mursi's visit is the first by an Egyptian leader since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when Iran cut ties with Hosni Mubarak's administration over its signing of a peace treaty with Israel.
Mr Mursi's attendance has attracted a lot of media attention in Iran: state TV broadcast live footage of him arriving at the airport in Tehran to be greeted by Iran's Vice President Hamid Baqaei.
The foreign relations unit of Mr Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood party told the BBC that Cairo's intentions were to normalise relations with Tehran, rather than significantly change them.
Mr Ban's acceptance of Tehran's invitation has been described by the US State Department as "strange".
He arrived on Wednesday and met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But the South Korean has not shied from drawing attention to the Islamic Republic's human rights record.
In a press conference, seated next to the speaker of Iran's parliament and one of the country's most powerful politicians, he told reporters that he had "serious concerns" about human rights in Iran.
A spokesman for Mr Ban also said that he wanted to address the slow progress in multilateral talks related to Iran's disputed nuclear activity.
The US and many of its allies suspect Iran's nuclear programme is aimed at developing a weapon, but Tehran insists it is strictly for civilian purposes.
A meeting of non-aligned foreign ministers on Tuesday was dominated by criticism of sanctions against Iran and decision-making at the UN.
Reaching out to Syria
Iran is one of the few remaining allies of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has been accused by the US of training a militia in Syria to reinforce Mr Assad's forces.
According to his spokesman, Mr Ban urged Ayatollah Khamenei and Mr Ahmadinejad to "really reach out to the Syrian leadership and impress on them the really urgent need to stop the violence".
The website of Ayatollah Khamenei said the Supreme Leader told Mr Ban in their meeting that the solution to the crisis was halting the trafficking of weapons to Syrian rebel fighters.
He said it was "natural" for there to be weapons in the hands of the Syrian government, because it was conducting an official military like any other country.
The Nam was established in 1961 by countries that wanted to counterbalance the dominance of the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War.
It meets once every three years but its relevance on the international stage has declined significantly since the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union.
source: bbcukBerita Lain:
- Mali conflict: French dan#039;fighting Islamists in Diabalydan#039;
- Foreigners abducted by Islamist militants in Algeria
- Mali conflict: French troops fight Islamists in Diabaly
- Mali conflict: French set for key ground combat
- Foreigners dan#039;abducteddan#039; by Islamist militants in Algeria