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Iran wants full restoration of diplomatic ties with Egypt: Diplomat

Iran wants new relationship with Egypt because diplomatic cuts have harmed both countries, says diplomat at Iranian embassy in Cairo

Ahram Online, Wednesday 11 Jun 2014
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian(Photo: Reuters)
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Iranian diplomat Hossein Amir Abdollahian has said the strength and security of his country and the region is directly linked to that of Egypt, Tehran-based Alalam news website reported on Tuesday.

During a press conference at the Iranian embassy in Cairo, the deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs said the recent presidential election in Egypt was a "step forward," and that Egypt would not "go backward."

He added that his country was hoping for an inclusive national reconciliation between all political factions, saying it would lead to a "strong united Egypt."

"We consider a strong Egypt a strong Iran, and that Egypt's security is Iran's security," he said, adding that "all of this would increase security and stability in the whole region."

Abdollahian also said his country was prepared to hold joint projects with Egypt.

Iranian Charge d'Affairs Mojtaba Amani said his country was determined to endorse a new approach to its relationship with Egypt, explaining that diplomatic cuts in the past had harmed both sides.

Egypt's official ties with Iran were broken off in1980, a year after Iran's Islamic revolution and Egypt's peace agreement with Israel.

Relations briefly began to thaw during the presidency of Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi and then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exchanged visits and spoke of a new phase in bilateral relations.

An official invitation was sent to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Amani who was present at El-Sisi's inauguration ceremony on Sunday, along with Abdollahian, said their presence reflected "an urgent popular and political wish for the restoration of full diplomatic ties" with Egypt.

Since the ouster of Morsi, Amani has been summoned by the Egyptian authorities several times over Iran's criticism of the interim authorities.

Iran protested Morsi's ouster last year and described the bloody dispersal of his loyalists in August 2013 as "a massacre." Hundreds were killed in the dispersal.

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