UPDATE: Sisi, Raisi discuss Gaza situation, Egypt-Iran relations in first meeting

Ahram Online , Saturday 11 Nov 2023

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi discussed the situation in Gaza as well as bilateral relations as they held their first meeting today on the sidelines of the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh.

Sisi and Raisi
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi meets with Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh

The two leaders discussed alleviating the humanitarian suffering faced by the Palestinian people in Gaza, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said.

El-Sisi updated Raisi on Egypt's efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, as well as Egyptian efforts to provide humanitarian aid to civilians.

They also emphasised the imperative of preventing the conflict from growing and maintaining regional stability.

Enhancing bilateral relations

During the meeting, Raisi said “There are no restrictions against enhancing relations with the friendly state of Egypt,” the Iranian Presidency said in a statement.

El-Sisi highlighted that Egypt has assigned relevant ministers to follow up on the consolidation of relations with Iran, according to the Iranian statement.

Egyptian-Iranian relations have recently thawed after a rupture since the ousting of Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the 1979 Islamic Revolution and Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

In September, Egyptian and Iranian foreign ministers held talks on the sidelines of the 78th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discuss guidelines for developing bilateral relations.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian discussed developing relations on the basis of mutual respect, good neighbourliness, and noninterference in internal affairs.

Abdollahian described his meeting with Shoukry as an important step toward normalising relations between the two countries.

In May, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei affirmed that Tehran welcomes better diplomatic relations with Egypt, reported Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency.

Egyptian officials told The National that Egypt and Iran are expected to exchange ambassadors this year, with officials from both countries reportedly holding rounds of secret meetings in Oman and Iraq, mediated by Oman.

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