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UN: Summit Organizers Apologize, Readmit Farda Journalist


Organizers of a UN food summit in Rome have readmitted a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Persian-language service and apologized for the "unfortunate incident" when he was denied access on the summit's opening day.


It remains unclear why security guards prevented Ahmad Rafat from entering the World Food Security Summit on June 3, but he suggested that his reporting might have led Iranian officials to press for his exclusion.


Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad addressed the gathering the same day, where he accused powerful countries of orchestrating global food shortages for economic and political gain.


RFE/RL had complained to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) after Rafat, who is also deputy director of the Adnkronos International news agency, had his press accreditation confiscated at the summit's doors.


The FAO's director of communications, Nick Parsons, has offered an apology, saying the FAO was "extremely satisfied that the issue of Mr. Rafat's access has been resolved."


Rafat is a Rome-based correspondent for Radio Farda, a joint venture between RFE/RL and Voice of America that broadcasts to Iran.

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