AFP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Saturday for a three-nation trip which includes the United States where he is to attend next week’s UN General Assembly meeting, state media said.
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Saturday for a three-nation trip which includes the United States where he is to attend next week’s UN General Assembly meeting, state media said.
Ahmadinejad first heads to regional ally Syria, followed by Algeria and New York.
Speaking to reporters before departing Tehran, the hardliner said that apart from attending the UN session, he would hold a series of meetings in the United States.
“In New York, I will talk to heads of governments, a group of American people, industrialists, thinkers, politicians and decision-makers, have a dialogue with one of the American universities, and talk to the media,” state media quoted him as saying.
Criticising the West for “failing to solve world issues,” Ahmadinejad said Iran has “clear and productive principles” on the way the world should be run.
“The Iranian nation has meticulous methods and divine values to offer to the world since materialistic thoughts have reached a complete defeat, which is why there is no clear outlook for the sustainable peace and welfare of the world.”
Ahmadinejad said Iran’s relations with Syria were “solid and strategic with a unified view on all issues,” adding the Islamic republic’s ties with Algeria were also “very good and expanding.”
Ahmadinejad last paid a visit to Syria in February, soon after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underlined Washington’s desire to see Syria move away from Iran.
At the time, Ahmadinejad and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad signed a visa-scrapping accord that signalled closer ties between the regional allies.
Ahmadinejad visited Algiers in January 2009, were he held talks with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
From Monday to Wednesday, he will attend the UN General Assembly, a forum he has used in past years to blast arch-foe Israel.