Mugabe meets another upstanding member of the Failed State Club.
The Associated Press
Thursday, April 22, 2010; 9:19 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe -- President Robert Mugabe welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Zimbabwe Thursday, a meeting of two leaders united in fierce opposition to the West.
Mugabe met Ahmadinejad at the Harare airport Thursday afternoon. The Zimbabwe Iran Joint Commission had said ahead of Ahmadinejad's state visit that the two nations were committed to "the promotion of peace and stability in their respective regions" and welcomed Iran's proposals to host an international nuclear disarmament conference.
Iran has been under harsh criticism from Western nations for pressing ahead with uranium enrichment programs it says are to produce nuclear energy amid fears the militant Islamic state could develop nuclear weapons.
Iran is the biggest exhibitor at a trade exposition Ahmadinejad is scheduled to open in the second city of Bulawayo on Friday. Ahmadinejad is the first leader from outside the African continent to open the exposition since independence from British colonial era rule in 1980.
In Zimbabwe's ailing economy - along with white-owned and foreign companies being forced under a new law to hand over 51 percent control to black Zimbabweans - many traditional Western exhibitors and local industries have stayed away from the annual trade fair, once a showcase of regional goods and products.