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Ahmadinejad to make first Egypt visit by Iran head in decades
Published Saturday 02/02/2013 (updated) 04/02/2013 13:59
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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walks down from his plane at a
military base. (Reuters/File)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Cairo next week, becoming the first Iranian president to travel to Egypt since Iran's 1979 revolution ruptured diplomatic ties between the two most populous countries in the Middle East.

Ahmadinejad will head Iran's delegation to a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo, said Amani Mojtaba, head of Iran's interest section in Cairo, which it maintains in the absence of an official embassy.

"I hope that Iranian-Egyptian relations return to the full diplomatic level," he told Reuters.

The trip follows a visit by Egypt's new Islamist President Muhammad Mursi to Iran in August last year, when the two leaders agreed to reopen official embassies.

Tehran broke off relations with Cairo in 1980, a year after both Iran's revolution and Egypt's peace agreement with Israel.

While the countries were estranged, Egypt gave asylum and a state funeral to Iran's exiled Shah Reza Pahlavi, who is buried in a medieval Cairo mosque alongside his ex-brother-in-law, Egypt's last king, Farouk. Iran named a street after the assassin who killed Egypt's President Anwar Sadat.

The 2011 uprising that toppled Egypt's former autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak has provided a chance to reopen formal relations. But Egypt, like other Sunni Muslim Arab states, remains at odds with Shi'ite Iran over many regional issues.

Mursi has been among the most vocal opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran's ally. Syria's membership of the OIC was suspended at the organization's last summit, despite strong Iranian objections, and the civil war there is likely to be one of the main issues discussed in Cairo next week.

The OIC summit will be the biggest international event Mursi has hosted since taking power seven months ago as the first elected leader in Egypt's 5,000-year history.

It follows days of violent street demonstrations by his political opponents in which nearly 60 people have been killed since Jan. 25.
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1 ) Mel / USA
03/02/2013 00:15
WOW! The historical V political, secular V fundamentalist,regional V national,Arab V Persian,factional V party puppetry,united Arab nationalism V colonial control,local Arab self-determination V distant Western colonial control of Islam,national SOVEREIGNTY V regional power! The maze of complications underlying all this,IS MINDBLOWING,LOL! And that's not INCLUDING land-grabbing,rogue-nuclear,Occupying Israel!Keep it nice & SANE,OIC-ers.Watch out 4 Mossad &agent provocateurs!PEACE 2 SYRIA!

2 ) USAUSA / USA
03/02/2013 20:22
Iran is close to being a failed state. Look at their levels of drug addiction, prostitution, look at their economy (without oil, collapsed). Their birth rate has collapsed and that is an indicator of societal failure. They waste money on prestige weapons like the old USSR which they resemble. Egypt is close to economic collapse now. They are running out of money for imports and they import half of the food they need. This is the blind meeting the going blind - and giving them vision advice.
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