Reuters: Egypt has held talks with Iran over the possibility of importing Iranian wheat, and hopes to see a new phase in economic relations with its old foe, the Egyptian trade ministry said on Saturday. CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt has held talks with Iran over the possibility of importing Iranian wheat, and hopes to see a new phase in economic relations with its old foe, the Egyptian trade ministry said on Saturday.
Egypt and Iran have not had full diplomatic relations since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, and diplomatic contacts are usually limited to international gatherings.
“The coming period will see the start of a new phase of economic relations between Egypt and Iran,” the Egyptian ministry said in a statement.
The ministry made its statement a day after Egyptian Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid held talks with Iranian Industry and Mines Minister Aliakbar Mehrabian in the Egyptian capital.
“The talks dealt with the possibility of importing wheat from Iran, especially given that Iran has become a wheat exporting country,” the statement added.
The ministry said Egypt, one of the world’s biggest wheat importers, had also extended an invitation to Iran’s deputy trade minister to visit Egypt to lay the framework for such wheat deals.
Mainly Sunni Muslim Egypt and Shi’ite Iran have edged toward resuming normal ties in recent years, but Iran has yet to change the name of a Tehran street that honours the assassin of Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian leader who made peace with Israel.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad said in May that Tehran was ready to revive ties with Egypt and open an embassy in Cairo in remarks that Egypt’s foreign minister described at the time as positive.
In September, Egypt and Iran held rare talks at a senior level in Cairo on restoring full ties, and Egypt said dialogue would continue.