Turkey rebuffs Iranian invitation to NAM summit
Istanbul: Turkey will not attend the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran later this month, local media Saturday cited Turkish diplomatic sources as saying.
The Zaman quoted an official from the Presidential office as saying that President Abdullah Gul has no plans to attend the summit despite an invitation from his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reported Xinhua.
The official noted that Turkey was not planning to attend the summit from the very beginning, neither at the presidential nor ministerial level, as Turkey is not a member of the movement, which comprises 120 countries.
The official also explained that the president could not attend the summit as "the date of the summit includes Aug 29 and 30, which is Victory Day for Turkey, President Gul will greet guests at Cankaya presidential palace and a second reason preventing Gul from attending the summit is a health ailment".
Gul, who went to Kyrgyzstan Wednesday to attend a meeting of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, cut short his visit and returned to Turkey earlier than scheduled due to the recurrence of an ear problem.