Egypt ready to re-establish Iran diplomatic ties

April 4, 2011 22:25

CAIRO - Cairo is ready to re-establish diplomatic ties with Tehran after a break of more than 30 years, Egypt's foreign minister said on Monday, signaling a shift in Iran policy since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

"The Egyptian and Iranian people deserve to have mutual relations reflecting their history and civilization," said Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby after meeting Iranian official Mugtabi Amani.

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

It was the first publicly announced meeting between officials from both countries since Mubarak was toppled on Feb. 11, handing power to the army.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran and mainly Sunni Egypt severed ties in 1980 following Iran's Islamic revolution and Egypt's recognition of Israel. Both have competed for influence in the Middle East.

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