Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Mussa said Sunday, February 25, there was "no valid reason" for there not to be relations between Egypt and Iran, but stopped short of saying that full diplomatic ties would be restored.
Mussa was speaking on the sidelines of a summit in Cairo of eight Islamic developing nations, attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi whose visit is the first at such a level since ties were broken in 1980.
Both Egypt and Iran "aspire to a better future for their relations," Mussa said. "There is no valid reason for there not to be relations between us and Iran," he told reporters without elaborating.
Diplomatic relations between Cairo and Tehran were severed in 1980, shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
Kharazi said Saturday after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he hoped for a warming of ties with Egypt.
Relations began to improve in the 1990s, and the two countries now have interest sections in their respective capitals. The current Egyptian and Iranian presidents spoke by telephone for the first time last June. Kharazi recently hinted that his country could be ready to reestablish full diplomatic ties with Egypt. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )