Iranian MP: Egypt, Iran Have 'Strong Desire' to Improve Relations
Egypt and Iran have a "strong desire" to improve their relations and there are no big hurdles to clear, a senior Iranian parliament official said Wednesday on a visit to Cairo.
Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of the parliament's national security and foreign policy commission, told Egypt's state-run MENA news agency there are "no deep differences" between the two sides and that "confidence building measures" are currently under way.
Egypt and Iran are moving closer towards restoring full diplomatic relations broken off 20 years ago in the wake of the Islamic revolution in Tehran.
"We're trying to make ties better, especially because Egypt and Iran have a strong desire to improve bilateral relations," Mirdamadi said, describing current relations as "good."
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last month made the first direct contact between the two countries' leaders since the revolution, telephoning his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Khatami on the occasion of Iran's admission to the G-15 group of countries at a meeting in Cairo.
An Iranian newspaper reported Tuesday that the two presidents had agreed during the conversation to meet in September during the UN General Assembly in New York, in a further sign of improving relations.
Ties have improved over the past few years, and each country has charges d'affaires stationed in interest sections in the other country.
Cairo has said it is ready to re-establish diplomatic relations as soon as Tehran changes the name of Khaled al-Islambuli street -- named after the man who assassinated Mubarak's predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981.
Despite the rupture, economic relations have also improved in recent years.
Mirdamadi was in Cairo for a two-day meeting of the parliament union of the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which started Monday - TEHRAN (AFP)
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