Egypt and Iran will hold talks at the ministerial level with the goal of renewing full diplomatic ties that have been frozen since 1980, the Egyptian foreign ministry said Tuesday. "There has been an agreement to continue dialogue between both sides in particular over bilateral relations on the level of senior officials and then foreign ministers," ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said, according to AFP.
The announcement followed talks in Cairo earlier this week between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi and Hussein Dirar, Egypt's assistant foreign minister for Asian affairs.
"The Iranians want to talk, have contacts, and Egypt won't close the door," Zaki told AFP. "Both sides are willing to develop relations and advance towards removing the questions obstructing (renewed ties)."
In May, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran was prepared to restore full diplomatic relations with Egypt and would open its embassy in Cairo the "very day" the Egyptian government agreed. But one month later, Egypt's foreign minister accused Iran of having encouraged Palestinian movement Hamas to seize Gaza Strip.