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Egypt FM Renews Interest in Iran Ties

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, April 5 (ICANA) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi has again expressed Cairo's readiness to re-establish diplomatic ties with Tehran after a three-decade break.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011 11:30:16 AM
Egypt FM Renews Interest in Iran Ties

“The Egyptian and Iranian people deserve to have mutual relations reflecting their history and civilization,” Reuters quoted al-Arabi as saying after meeting with Director of Iran's Interests Section in Cairo Mojtaba Amani on Monday.

“Egypt is open to all countries and the aim is to achieve common interests,” he said, adding that Cairo welcomed “opening a new page with Iran.”

Al-Arabi had said in his first press conference as Egypt's foreign minister in March that Cairo was ready to open "a new page with Iran."

He had said that the Egyptian government does not see Iran as an enemy state, noting that the two countries have historically enjoyed deep relations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi welcomed comments by his Egyptian counterpart on promoting Tehran-Cairo ties.

“Despite the ups and downs, the historical ties between the two countries have been sustained,” Salehi said last month, adding good relations between the two countries could help the region's stability, security and development.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also expressed Tehran's interest in re-establishing relations with Cairo.

“Iran has been seeking the expansion of ties with all governments and nations except the Zionist regime (Israel). I have also announced earlier that we are looking to expand ties, particularly with Egypt, and hope for moving developments on this issue,” President Ahmadinejad said at a Monday press conference.

Iran and Egypt have not had diplomatic relations since 1980.

Iran severed ties with Egypt after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran's deposed dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Vice Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission (NSFPC) of the Majlis Hossein  Ebrahimi has called for improvement of diplomatic ties with Cairo in the wake of the recent developments in Egypt.

Referring to a statement by the Egyptian foreign minister calling for closer ties with Iran, the senior lawmaker said improvement of relations with Cairo to the level of ambassador was imperative.

Ebrahimi told ICANA that conditions were ripe to open a new chapter in relations between the peoples of Iran and Egypt in the wake of the recent events and the coming to power of new leaders in Egypt.

Pointing to the cultural commonalties between Iran and Egypt, the MP said Egypt enjoyed strong cultural backgrounds and the presence of Al-Azhar University there was a brilliant point in the Egyptian culture. This is a point which will certainly help further strengthen interactions between the two nations.

The MP thanked Egypt for allowing Iranian warships to cross the Suez Canal and called the move a bright point in Iran's relations with new Egypt. He said Iran and post-Mubarak Egypt shared opposition to the Zionist regime of Israel. Improvement of Tehran-Cairo ties can help accelerate liberation of Palestine and elimination of Israel's shallow power.

Another member of the Iranian parliament said earlier Sunday that a number of lawmakers may visit Egypt in the wake of the positive signals exchanged between the foreign ministers of the two countries to improve diplomatic relations.

NSFPC member Fatemeh Alia told ICANA will take place at the request of the Egyptian parliament.

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