Iran set to restore ties with Egypt, FM declares

Iran set to restore ties with Egypt, FM declares

Iran set to restore ties with Egypt, FM declares

Iranian FM Salehi says Tehran wants to have friendly relations with Cairo. AFP photo

Iran and Egypt are moving towards restoring diplomatic relations which were severed more than three decades ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said today, according to Agence France-Presse.

Salehi said in comments reported in Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper that Tehran was keen on establishing relations of “friendship and brotherhood” with Cairo.

“Egypt is the cornerstone of the region and has a special stature in the Arab and Muslim countries... and we want relations of friendship and brotherhood with it,” Salehi said, adding that Tehran hoped to restore “normal” relations with Cairo.

“We will pursue this path and restoration of relations depends only on protocol measures.” Salehi said Egypt’s “revolution opened a new chapter in Egypt’s relations with the outside world,” adding that the Islamic republic welcomes Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attending a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit later this month in Tehran.

A source at the Egyptian presidency said Morsi will take part in the Aug. 30 summit at which the NAM presidency will be passed from Egypt to Iran. Tehran severed diplomatic ties with Cairo in 1980, after the Islamic revolution in Iran, to protest against Egypt and Israel agreeing on their 1979 peace treaty.

Egypt violates peace treaty: Israel

Israeli officials said yesterday that Egypt is violating their 1979 peace treaty by deploying tanks in the demilitarized Sinai desert, which borders Israel.

The officials said they have made their objections known to the Egyptians directly and through American mediators, The Associated Press reported. Egypt has been building up its military presence in lawless Sinai after militants there attacked an army post on Aug. 5 and killed 16 soldiers. Israel has welcomed the crackdown but said tank deployments should have been coordinated. Israel has previously agreed to exceptions to the treaty allowing Egypt to add troops and equipment in Sinai.