Egyptian President Morsi with Iranian FM Salehi 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS / Handout)
Iran has sent its foreign minister to Cairo on Thursday in order to improve ties
with Egypt and overcome Sunni-Shi’ite tensions that are playing out over the
region, particularly in Syria.
Iranian-Egyptian relations have improved
since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and on Thursday Iranian Foreign Minister Ali
Akbar Salehi met with President Mohamed Morsi and other important Egyptian
He also met with Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the grand sheikh of
Al-Azhar, the most important Sunni scholarly institutions in the world. The two
men tried to play down differences between Sunnis and Shi’ites.
said that the tensions were being orchestrated by the Western media and invited
Morsi to Iran on behalf of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
neighboring states and the states of the region must seek a way to solve to the
Syrian issue in a Syrian-Syrian way,” Salehi said.
He added that Iran
would like to see negotiations between the opposing sides “without resorting to
parties outside the region.”
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
The paper quotes anonymous security
sources that say the Iranians sought to help Egypt develop its intelligence
services. Muslim Brotherhood members at the meeting wanted to apply the lessons
learned by Iran and apply them to Egypt.
The paper also stated that the
reason for the removal of Egypt’s interior minister was that he opposed the
Egypt denied that the meeting took place, but the meeting
was also reported by The Times of London