Netanyahu to UN chief: Your place is not in Tehran
By HERB KEINON
PM urges UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-moon not to attend Non-Aligned Movement parley in Tehran, calls such a visit a "horrible mistake."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Photo: Denis Balibouse / Reuters
"Mr. Secretary-General, your place is not in Tehran," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bluntly told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday afternoon. The comment came at the end of a phone conversation Netanyahu had with Ban to dissuade him from attending a summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members in Tehran at the end of the month. Netanyahu said such a trip would stain both Ban and the organization he heads.
Iran currently holds the chairmanship of NAM, a group of some 120 nations who claim not to be aligned with any major world power bloc. Netanyahu's conversation is the peak so far of Israeli efforts to convince as many countries as possible not to attend the meeting, or – at the very least – send only low-level representation. Diplomatic officials said that a number of countries have indicated that they would be willing to send low level representatives, but that this would be much more difficult to justify if Ban himself attended the parley.
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