Iran General NewsIran says close to resuming ties with Egypt

Iran says close to resuming ties with Egypt

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Reuters: Iran is close to resuming full diplomatic relations with Egypt, its foreign minister said on Monday, but did not say when the ties that have been cut for almost three decades would be re-established. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran is close to resuming full diplomatic relations with Egypt, its foreign minister said on Monday, but did not say when the ties that have been cut for almost three decades would be re-established.

Iran broke ties with Egypt in 1979 after then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat let in the deposed shah of Iran. The two countries now have diplomatic representation through interest sections and not full embassies at ambassador level.

“We are on the verge of resuming official political ties with Egypt,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference in Tehran.

Egyptian officials have previously been more cautious about the timing of resuming ties.

Cairo has said a Tehran street named after the assassin of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat should be changed and murals in the Iranian capital of the assassin removed. Some security issues also need to be resolved, Egyptian officials have said.

“Now my representative is in Egypt and he has taken my special message to my counterpart and now Iran and Egypt’s relationship is going ahead in a natural way,” Mottaki said without giving further details.

Ali Asghar Mohammmadi, an assistant Iranian foreign minister for Middle East and North Africa affairs, is visiting Cairo and held talks on the Palestinian issue, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

There were no immediate details about a special message.

Mottaki’s comments follow the first direct talks between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The two discussed the Palestinian issue and other regional matters in a telephone call last week.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi, writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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