Zardari, Manmohan meeting could be significant: daily

A meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Tehran "could be an important continuation of the efforts to improve ties between the two nations", said a Pakistani daily Thursday.

The two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit being hosted by Iran.

The News International in an editorial said: "What could also be significant is that on the sidelines of the conference, President Zardari is expected to meet India's prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in what could be an important continuation of the efforts to improve ties between the two nations."

The daily said that Iran has "made its biggest attempt in 33 years to draw itself back into the mainstream of global life by hosting NAM summit".

"Iran, for obvious reasons, is attempting to find ways to counter Western criticism of its nuclear programme which stem chiefly from Washington.

It is of course also eager to build a coalition against arch-enemy Israel. The row over Iran’s nuclear weapons has of course dominated many world events over the past years," it said.

The daily went on to say that perhaps what is most significant of all is that the NAM summit will allow Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad "to present himself before the world in an attempt to find allies; some of those invited argue that Iran has been badly wronged and thus must counter the hostility directed towards it from Western capitals".

"How far he succeeds in this aim could determine how future events in the region are played out and the role of Iran in the world," it added.

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