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Cuban Official: Unclear if Fidel Castro will Participate in Summit


A top Cuban official says it is unclear if Cuban President Fidel Castro will participate in the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that begins Monday in Havana.

Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque made the remark Sunday before the start of the six-day meeting.

Cuban officials say they mistakenly sent out a schedule that listed President Castro as the host of a dinner Friday for visiting leaders.

Mr. Castro has not made any public appearances since the announcement July 31 that he underwent intestinal surgery and temporarily transferred power to his younger brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro.

Lower level officials meet today while heads of state confer later in the week.

Those expected at the summit include U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, who has ignored U.N. demands to stop enriching uranium, is expected to lobby summit participants to support Iran's nuclear program.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are to meet on the sidelines of the summit in a bid to restart peace talks between their rival countries.

The Non-Aligned Movement has 116 members in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

The grouping was formed more than four decades ago with the aim of avoiding alignment with the United States or the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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