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MIDEAST > Egypt denies Morsi gave interview to Iran's Fars agency

CAIRO - Agence France-Presse

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The Egyptian presidency on Monday denied that president-elect Mohamed Morsi gave an interview to Iran's Fars news agency, in which he reportedly pledged to strengthen ties with the Islamic republic.
 
"Mr Morsi did not give any interview to Fars and everything that this agency has published is without foundation," a spokesman for the Egyptian presidency told the official news agency MENA.
 
Earlier Fars published what it said was an interview with Morsi in which Egypt's first Islamist and democratically elected civilian president said he wanted to build ties with the Islamic republic which were severed in 1980.
 
Morsi was also quoted as saying by Fars that he would "reconsider" the US-brokered Camp David Accords that led to the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, Iran's nemesis.
 
"Part of my agenda is the development of ties between Iran and Egypt that will create a strategic balance in the region," Morsi was quoted as saying.
 
The Islamic republic broke off diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980, a year after Cairo signed its peace treaty with Israel.
 
Fars said Morsi gave the interview to one of its reporters in Cairo on Sunday, just before his election triumph was announced.
 
But in a speech to the Egyptian nation after his victory was confirmed, Morsi pledged to respect international treaties signed by Cairo.
 
Also on Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for stronger ties between Iran and Egypt after Morsi's election victory, the state news agency IRNA news agency reported.
 
"I congratulate you for your victory as head of Egypt, a friendly and brotherly country," Ahmadinejad said in a statement addressed to Morsi, and "insisted on the the reinforcement of ties between the two countries," IRNA reported.
 
Morsi succeeds toppled Egyptian veteran president Hosni Mubarak, who never trusted the Islamic republic, which he considered to be a destabilising factor in the Middle East.
 
Although Iran's predominant faith is Shiite Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood adheres to the Sunni branch of Islam, Tehran has been reaching out to the organisation in Egypt in recent months.

June/26/2012

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