Egypt's Morsi denies plans to visit Iran for August NAM summit

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Jul 2012

After denying previous Iranian interview story, President Morsi refutes reports in Iranian, Lebanese press that he plans to visit Tehran for scheduled Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran

President Morsi
President Morsi (Photo: Ahram Online )

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has no plans to visit Tehran next month despite recent media reports to the contrary, Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali told the BBC on Tuesday.

Iran's Fars news agency has continued to report – despite strenuous denials by Morsi's office – that Egypt's new president planned to visit the Islamic republic next month to meet with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadnijad to discuss the future of bilateral relations.

The story was apparently based on a news report in Lebanese daily Al-Safir, which reported on Tuesday morning that Morsi planned to visit Iran to attend a scheduled summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in August.

Egypt currently holds the NAM's rotating presidency and Iran is expected to assume it next month. According to NAM protocol, the Egyptian president should personally hand over his chair to the Third World organisation's incoming president.

Iran's independent Fars news agency caused a stir last week when it published what it claimed was an interview with Morsi following the latter's presidential victory. Morsi's office, however, quickly issued a statement denying the alleged interview's veracity.

In the meantime, it remains unclear what kind of diplomatic representation Morsi's office will dispatch to the upcoming NAM summit.

Official relations between Egypt and Iran have been suspended since 1979.

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