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Iranians overjoyed by hosting NAM summit

By Yang Shuyi, Zhu Xiaolong, Du Yuanjiang (Xinhua)

09:04, August 28, 2012

TEHRAN, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- "Welcome to Tehran for the 16th NAM summit ..." Banners and posters are hanging along the streets across Iran's capital of Tehran, reminding passers-by that a big event is going on in one of the largest cities in the region.

Iran will host the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) this week.

With local TV channel circulating the developments of this event, which is divided into three stages -- senior officials meeting on Aug. 26-27, ministerial level meeting on Aug. 28-29, and the summit from Aug. 30 to 31 -- even teenagers playing in the streets of Tehran know something special is taking place here.

The Iranian government has geared up security in the capital, especially around the convention centers and hotels where foreign guests stay, with the number of checkpoints increased and policemen patrolling along major roads in downtown area. But for most residents in Tehran, the summit is something which makes them proud and overjoyed.

A 61-year-old retired man even mistook the crowds around the Tehran Grand Hotel, where many foreign journalists covering the summit are staying, for the celebration of a big "holiday."

"There is a five-day holiday here, I think," the man said merrily to Xinhua, pointing to a grocery run by his younger friend. "But don't worry, all shops will still be opening. You can buy things as you want." he said.

Realizing that most representatives to this summit come from developing countries, some Iranian citizens said they hoped the meeting would help resolve or alleviate major problems the world is facing, such as the Syrian crisis and the Iranian nuclear issue.

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