Sunday, September 27, 2009

Serbia seeks summit of developing nations

Serbia seeks summit of developing nations
By SLOBODAN LEKIC (AP) – 1 day ago
UNITED NATIONS — Serbia is proposing to host a summit of the 120-member Nonaligned Movement, which has angered the United States with its opposition to the invasion of Iraq and its support for Iran and Cuba.
Serbian President Boris Tadic invited on Friday leaders of nonaligned countries to meet in the Serbian capital of Belgrade to mark the movement's first summit held at the same venue in 1961.
At the time, Serbia was part of the Yugoslav federation whose leader Josip Broz Tito played a founding role in the organization.
Yugoslavia broke up in 1991. None of its six successor states is a member of NAM, and Tadic said that Egypt should chair the meeting.
"My country is the largest successor to a founding member of (NAM)," Tadic said in an address to the U.N. General Assembly. "That is why I have proposed that the 50th anniversary of the Nonaligned Movement be celebrated in Belgrade."
During the Cold War, the grouping of developing nations sought to steer a neutral role between the Western and Soviet blocs. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the movement — comprising diverse nations such as Cuba, Jamaica, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Venezuela — adopted a critical view of the U.S and the developed world in general.
NAM has been sharply critical of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and has expressed support for the governments of Iran, Cuba and Zimbabwe. It has repeatedly condemned Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and the attacks on Gaza and Lebanon.
Earlier this month Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, dismissed the movement as "outdated."
Serbia has been at odds with Washington over America's recognition of the independence of Kosovo — a Serbian province that broke free of Belgrade after a brief war 10 years ago.
"Let me underline that Serbia will continue to engage with NAM ... because we believe that international stability and prosperity cannot be consolidated without taking into the views of the majority of the global family of nations," Tadic said.

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