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6/2/06

Iranian Minister fails to attend AIDS meeting in New York due to visa denial

Tehran, June 2, IRNA-Minister of Health Kamran Baqeri Lankarani said on Friday that the US had refused to issue visa for him to attend a UN meeting on AIDS held in New York.

"Though invited by the UN, the US refused any visas for the Iranian health officials to visit the US and take part in the (UN sponsored AIDS) meeting," said Baqeri in a press conference on the final day of the meeting.

Baqeri said that however, Iran's permanent envoy to the UN was entrusted the mission to brief the session on outlines of Iran's activities in controlling AIDS and its proposals in that connection.

The high-level three-day UN meeting focused global action on HIV/AIDS and on issues of gender, funding levels and the recognition of high-risk groups.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognised in 1981, according to UNAIDS.

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