Iran urges Egypt's Morsi to attend Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran

MENA and Ahram Online, Saturday 21 Jul 2012

Iran encourages Egypt's President to attend NAM summit in August, which will see a transfer of the Movement's leadership

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends a news conference during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro on June 21, (Photo: Reuters).

Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast expressed Iran's hope that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attend the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Tehran, describing him as a principal guest in the event. Egypt currently holds NAM's presidential seat.

Press TV, an Iranian channel, quoted a statement made by Mehmanparast to Iran Daily Saturday that confirmed the invitation, mentioning that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally invited Morsi to the summit via telephone earlier this month.

Mehmanparast said it is natural for Egypt to be concerned with the movement at this time of change in its history.

In the telephone conversation between the two presidents at the beginning of July, Ahmadinejad stated that Morsi's "participation as the current president of the Non-Aligned Movement in the Tehran summit would be effective in advancing negotiations and ratifications," according to The Tehran Times.

Relations between Egypt and Iran were markedly cold since they severed diplomatic ties in 1980 following Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

President Anwar Al-Sadat - a strong ally of the ousted monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - severly attacked the revolution. On its end, Iran was left outraged at Egypt's signing of a peace deal with Israel the same year as their revolution.

Only a few months after Egypt's 2011 uprising, the first Iranian envoy to Egypt in over 30 years was appointed. Months before that, Egypt had allowed two Iranian naval vessels passage through the Suez Canal, also a first-time event in 30 years.

Iran hailed Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi's win in Egypt's recent presidential elections as indication of an "Islamic awakening." Morsi resigned his post in the Islamist group as well as its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which he headed, on becoming president.

The sixteenth NAM Summit takes place in Tehran 26 to 31 August 2012, at which time the presidency of the organisation will be transferred from Egypt to Iran for a period of three years.

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