"Egypt is the cornerstone of the region and has a special stature in the Arab and Muslim countries," Salehi said
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi addresses media in Tehran on August 9 as Iran hosted a 29-nation conference on Syria. Iran and Egypt are moving towards restoring diplomatic relations which were severed more than three decades ago, Salehi said in an interview published on Tuesday. © Atta Kenare - AFP/File
AFP
Last updated: August 21, 2012

Iran and Egypt move to restore diplomatic ties

Iran and Egypt are moving towards restoring diplomatic relations which were severed more than three decades ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Salehi said in comments reported in Egypt's state-run Al-Ahram newspaper that Tehran was keen on establishing relations of "friendship and brotherhood" with Cairo.

"Egypt is the cornerstone of the region and has a special stature in the Arab and Muslim countries... and we want relations of friendship and brotherhood with it," Salehi said, adding that Tehran hoped to restore "normal" relations with Cairo.

"We will pursue this path and restoration of relations depends only on protocol measures."

Salehi said Egypt's "revolution opened a new chapter in Egypt's relations with the outside world," adding that the Islamic republic welcomes Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attending a Non-Aligned Movement summit later this month in Tehran.

A source at the Egyptian presidency said Morsi will take part in the August 30 summit at which the NAM presidency will be passed from Egypt to Iran.

Tehran severed diplomatic ties with Cairo in 1980, after the Islamic revolution in Iran, to protest against Egypt and Israel agreeing on their 1979 peace treaty.

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak regarded Iran as a destabilising factor in the Middle East.

Last week at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Mecca, Morsi proposed the formation of a committee grouping Egypt with key players Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to try to find a settlement to the conflict in Syria.

© AFP 2012

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