Iran General NewsEgypt summons Iranian diplomat over Tehran protest

Egypt summons Iranian diplomat over Tehran protest

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Reuters: The Egyptian government summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in Cairo on Thursday to complain about a demonstration that took place outside the Egyptian diplomatic mission in Tehran. CAIRO, March 6 (Reuters) – The Egyptian government summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in Cairo on Thursday to complain about a demonstration that took place outside the Egyptian diplomatic mission in Tehran.

About 100 protesters gathered outside the Egyptian mission in Tehran on Wednesday evening to protest against Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, shouting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. They burned the Israeli flag.

Some carried pictures of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert standing together and smiling, with the words “Leave, stooge” in Arabic and Farsi.

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have a peace treaty with Israel.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the demonstrators shouted slogans insulting to Egypt and Egyptian policy.

It noted that on the same day Egypt gave Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki an “appropriate” welcome when he stopped briefly at Cairo airport.

“Permitting such demonstrations … amounts to a very negative message for the future and possibilities of developing bilateral relations between the two countries,” it said.

“Conveying political messages by organising demonstrations is an act which should not occur between two states which should be trying to raise the level of relations,” it added.

Egypt and Iran have not had full diplomatic relations since soon after the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, but they do maintain small interests sections with low-level diplomats.

Several times in the last five years the Iranians have tried to persuade Egypt to restore relations but Egypt insists that the Iranians first remove a street mural in Tehran depicting one of the men who assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Egypt also wants the Iranian authorities to change the name of the Tehran street named after the man, Khaled Islambouli.

The Iranian mission in Cairo said it knew nothing about the summons or the Egyptian complaint.

Mottaki came to Cairo from Geneva for an unexpected meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, who was leaving an Arab ministerial meeting on Gaza and Lebanon. (Writing by Jonathan Wright, Additional reporting by Tehran bureau; Editing by Ibon Villelabeitia)

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