Egypt, Iran ready to restore diplomatic ties

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Egypt, Iran ready to restore diplomatic ties

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accepted an invitation from Egypt to visit the Arab world’s largest nation and expects to make a trip to Cairo within the coming month, PANA reported Tuesday. The pending visit by Ahmadinejad will mark the end of almost three decades without diplomatic relations between the two nations. Cairo severed ties with Tehran in 1979, following the ascension of Ayatollah Khomeini to power, and only limited diplomatic contact has occurred between the two nations since then until late last year, when both nations launched moves to restore ties. Iranian and Egyptian leaders have exchanged visits in their efforts to end the almost 30 years of political stalemate. Egypt’s invitation to the Iranian leader was expressed through Iran’s speaker o f Parliament, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, who was in Cairo over the weekend to have a dialogue with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

In the run up to the invitation, Mubarak held a phone conversation with Ahmadi nejad last week as an icebreaker. As Haddad Adel was departing Egypt, he made clear Tehran’s desire to improve di plomatic relations with Cairo, saying, “our meetings with senior officials in Egypt were held in a friendly atmospher e. We are ready for additional cooperation between the two countries.” Egyptian analysts seem to see the restoration of diplomatic relations between t he two nations as inevitable, saying it will have more advantages than disadvantages. “It had to happen, especially in the world we live in,” a retired Major Genera l and analyst at Cairo’s Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Mohamed Kadry Said, told PANA, adding that a closer relationship would be bette r for both nations. “I believe that with Iran we have an opportunity to take the lead once more in the Arab world in terms of security and military issues. The world sees Iran as an enemy, but not Egypt, so hopefully this will bring us onto the table as a mediator in a position similar to how we are in Sudan,” he added.

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