Ahmadinejad to seek closer ties in visit to Egypt

Iranian president invited by President Morsi to visit Cairo, to discuss resuming of diplomatic relations between the countries.

January 12, 2013 03:59
1 minute read.
Morsi and Ahmadinejad in Tehran, August 30, 2012.

Morsi and Ahmadinejad 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to visit Egypt in February and discuss the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi, semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported on Friday.

Ahmadinejad was invited by Morsi to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo on February 7.

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On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met with Morsi in Cairo to discuss improving the ties between the two countries, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the civil war in Syria.

Salehi said that the tensions were being orchestrated by the Western media and invited Morsi to Iran on behalf of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile last week, Morsi’s political adviser Issam al-Haddad held a secret meeting with Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, to learn how to control and take over the Egypt’s security forces, according to a report in Wednesday’s edition of the Egyptian paper Al-Masry al-Youm.

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Diplomatic relations between Cairo and Tehran broke down immediately after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution due to Egypt's support for the overthrown Shah and its peace agreement with Israel.

However, the relationship could be thawing after Morsi visited Tehran in August for the Non-Aligned Movement conference, marking the first such visit by an Egyptian leader since Iran's Islamic revolution.

Iran has been courting stronger relations with Egypt, as well as Jordan, in order to extend Tehran's influence in the Middle East.

Ariel Ben Solomon and Reuters contributed to this report.

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