Iran's Khamenei affirms willingness to restore ties with Egypt

Ahram Online , Monday 29 May 2023

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei affirmed on Monday his country’s welcoming stance towards the potential restoration of relations with Egypt.

File Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. AFP


Khamenei's remarks came during a meeting in Tehran with Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, who had met Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo a week earlier.

This is the highest-level Iranian official to address the issue of Egyptian-Iranian relations, which have remained severed since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The strained ties go back to Ayatollah Khomeini's decision to sever diplomatic relations with Cairo in response to the Camp David Accords signed between Egypt and Israel. Egypt later served as a refuge for the destitute Shah.

While initial signs were positive following statements made by Iranian officials, including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who revealed direct contact between Tehran and Cairo through their respective interests sections, sources from Cairo have dampened these expectations.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry denied any progress towards rapprochement with Tehran in an interview on MBC Masr TV channel, affirming that Egypt's position remains unchanged.

Currently, diplomatic relations are limited to chargés d'affaires.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries were partially restored under president Hosni Mubarak.

Meetings were held between former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and Mubarak in 2003 during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, so were reciprocal visits by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi and Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani to Egypt in 2001 and 2006, respectively.

Relations between the two countries experienced a positive shift following the election of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in 2012, leading to an exchange of visits at the presidential level during Morsi's tenure.

On his Twitter account, Iran’s supreme leader praised the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi good policy to expand and strengthen relations with neighbouring and regional countries following the restoration of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Khamenei expressed hopes that the Islamic nation can recapture its greatness by way of expanded communications between Islamic governments.

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