Tehran Pleased with Trend of Normalization Talks with Cairo
Iran on Monday gave an upbeat assessment of normalization talks with Egypt, but stopped short of giving an exact date for full restoration of ties, according to the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
"Our relations with Egypt have improved in different political, economic and cultural fields and I think that the two countries should continue their efforts to remove barriers," foreign ministry spokesman
Hamid-Reza Assefi told a Tehran press conference.
"But, it's hard to give any word on an exact
date. The two sides are moving to remove barriers," he said.
“The foreign ministries of the two countries are in continuous contact with each other and a new climate has been created between the two sides," he said.
Tehran-Cairo ties have significantly warmed since June 2000, when President Mohammad Khatami spoke over the phone with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, the first such conversation by the presidents of the two countries since they broke ties in 1979 after Egypt signed the Camp David peace treaty with Israel.
Relations have since improved, and the two countries now run interest sections through the Swiss embassies in Cairo and Tehran, operated by Iranian and Egyptian diplomats.
Nevertheless, the London-based Arab-language Al Sharq Al Awsat quoted an "unnamed" senior Egyptian official as saying that Egypt had decided to halt its normalization talks with Iran last month, after a hardline Iranian group unveiled a portrait of the assassin of former
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
A Tehran street named after the assassin remains the only sticking point in talks on establishing bilateral ties.
"Egypt is set to make a decision on halting the current efforts for normalization of ties with Tehran until further notice," he said – Albawaba.com
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