CAIRO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Egypt's capital of Cairo on Tuesday, the first visit by an Iranian president to Egypt since 1979.
Ahmadinejad will participate in the upcoming summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation slated for Feb. 6-7, the first one since the Egyptian unrest broke out, also the first one that Egypt has hosted since the establishment of the Organization in 1969.
Upon his arrival, Ahmadinejad was welcomed by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at the airport, and is scheduled to meet with al-Azhar grand Imam as well as other officials, and visit Hussein Mosque and the pyramids before taking part in the Summit proceedings.
At the airport, Morsi held talks with Ahmadinejad over recent developments in the region and how to solve the Syrian crisis without resorting to military interference.
The relations between Egypt and Iran were cut off for over three decades after Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but the two sides got a little closer after Egypt's regime of Hosni Mubarak was toppled in early 2011.
Morsi visited Tehran last August to attend the Non-aligned Movements (NAM) conference, becoming the first Egyptian president to visit Iran in decades.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi wrapped up his second visit to Egypt in the beginning of January, during which he handed over an invitation from Iranian president to Morsi for visiting Tehran for the second time. Salehi told reporters that "Iran's relations with Egypt improved after Egypt's January 2011 uprising. "
In September 2012, Iran participated with three other countries in the meeting of the quartet committee on the Syrian issue.
Also in the beginning of January, Salehi said that Egypt has welcomed Tehran's proposal for Cairo to host the next round of nuclear talks, but the Egyptian foreign minister said that Egypt is consulting with the P5+1, including Britain, France, Russia, the United States and China, plus Germany, for whether to host the meeting or not.
A statement of the Salafist Call, the ultra-conservative Islamic movement in Egypt, opposed the Iranian president to visit Sunni mosques.
"It is necessary for the Egyptian government to ask the Iranian president to protect the Sunnis in the Shiite country from any political, military or cultural violations," the statement said.
Salafist Call also expressed worries that Ahmadinejad's visit may go beyond attending the Summit to more close political ties, but at the expenses of Egypt's interests as well as the Sunnis'.
Mohamed Anwar El Sadat, chief of the "Development and Reform party," warned the Egyptian government of being subjected to Iran while making political decisions, due to any economic aids from Iran.
Sadat said that he isn't against improving the Egyptian-Iranian relationships, but is against "Iranian-(Muslim) Brotherhood relations." He also warned that any relations with Iran could pose a threat to Egypt's relations with Gulf countries.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said that Egypt's relations with any country wouldn't come at the expenses of the security of other countries, stressing that " security of Gulf countries is a red line... Security of the Gulf is security for Egypt."
The priority topics scheduled to be discussed in the upcoming summit, participated by some 56 Islamic countries, include Islamophobia, Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories and the situation in Syria and Mali.
TEHRAN, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that convergence between Tehran and Cairo could change regional and international equations in favor of both countries, Press TV reported.
"If a convergence is formed between Tehran and Cairo over regional and international issues, many equations will be reformed, " Ahmadinejad said before departing Tehran for Egypt on Tuesday to attend the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Full story
TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iran's foreign minister said here Wednesday that Egypt has welcomed Tehran's proposal for Cairo to host the next round of the nuclear talks between the Islamic republic and the world powers, Press TV reported.
Making the remarks after a cabinet meeting, Ali-Akbar Salehi said that Egypt is now consulting with the P5+1, including Britain, France, Russia, the United States, China, plus Germany, for hosting the meeting. Full story
CAIRO, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Some states pressure Egypt not to establish relations with Iran, but after the Egyptian uprising, Egypt does not accept dictations, Ambassador Mojtaba Amani, head of the Iranian Interests Office in Cairo, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Sunday.
"Egypt and Iran need to take further steps to normalize ties in the future," Amani said, stressing that the non-completion of all Egyptian revolutionary institutions was the reason that Egypt was reluctant to establish full relations with Iran. Full story
CAIRO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Since Egypt's turmoil in early 2011 which saw the collapse of the ex-regime led by Hosni Mubarak, a relief in the tense Egyptian-Iranian ties gradually appeared, with the coming of the new leadership which has a Muslim-Brotherhood ( MB) background.
Ties between Egypt and Iran were cut off for over three decades after Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. But now both states are ruled by Islamic-oriented administrations after the MB's Mohamed Morsi came to power in mid-2012. Full story