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Iran-Egypt Ties to Improve: PM

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, April 26 (ICANA) – The Egyptian prime minister says closer Tehran-Cairo ties can contribute to the promotion of relations among Middle Eastern nations.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 9:56:13 PM
Iran-Egypt Ties to Improve: PM

Enhancement of ties between Iran and Egypt can turn a new page in regional relations, Essam Sharaf said in a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia on Monday, reported the United Arab Emirates state news agency (WAM).

Sharaf also reiterated Cairo's support for the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) member states, saying his country will continue to work with the council.

He said Egypt will continue to stand by [P]GCC member states and help them against any threats while steering clear of interference in their internal affairs.

He added that Egypt regards the security of [P]GCC members as its own.

Sharaf was appointed Egypt's interim prime minister early March after widespread protests against the then premier Ahmad Shafiq.

Shafiq had been appointed by ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during the final days of his regime.

Mubarak was toppled on February 11 after 18 days of nationwide protests.

He had been in power for three decades before he was forced to step down.

The revolution in Egypt has alarmed the US and Israel -- both key allies of Mubarak's regime -- which consider the rise of an Islamic establishment in Egypt contrary to their interests.


Iran-Egypt Ties Not against Arabs


Meanwhile, Iran highlights the significance of promoting ties with Egypt, dismissing alleged fears that Tehran-Cairo relations might pose a threat to Arab interests in the region.

“Promoting ties between the two countries will be within the framework of the interests of the two nations,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East Affairs Mohammad Reza Sheibani was quoted as saying in a foreign ministry media release on Tuesday.

“Definitely the interests of other regional countries will be considered in this kind of cooperation,” he added.

“This cooperation will not be against any Arab country in the region, rather these ties could help bolster multilateral relations between all regional states, including Saudi Arabia and even Turkey,” Sheibani said.

He emphasized the common points Iran shares with Egypt and the region's other Arab nations in the fields of politics and economy as well as social and cultural areas.

These common points “will boost the capacity for convergence and cooperation among these countries,” he added.

Tehran and Cairo resumed their long-frozen relations earlier in April by inking a number of agreements in the field of tourism.

The agreement, the first since the fall of former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak in January, will take effect once Egypt and Iran exchange respective ambassadors.

Iran severed ties with Egypt after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accords with Israel and offered asylum to Iran's deposed monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Earlier in April, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi called for normalization of ties with Iran, saying Cairo is committed to improving relations with Tehran.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed "fear" and disappointment at Egypt's plans to resume ties with the Islamic Republic.

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