Egypt Receives Historic Visit from President of Iran

The president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived on Tuesday in Cairo for the first visit by a president of Iran to Egypt since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. Iran’s president arrived in Egypt’s capital for a summit of the OIC, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which starts on Wednesday.

The president of Iran was greeted by Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s president with a kiss, as he exited his plane. Ahmadinejad will meet with officials from Egypt as well as politicians while on his three-day visit. He said he wanted to pave the way for new cooperation between his country and Egypt.

The Iranian president would not elaborate but said his visit would definitely help bilateral ties between Cairo and Tehran.

One official in Egypt said that the two countries have yet to fully restore diplomatic ties and the Syrian crisis was the main sticking point presently between Iran and Egypt. The Foreign Minister of Egypt said that developments in Syria would dictate if the relations between Egypt and Iran could be transformed.

Egypt has been slow in responding to the efforts of Iran to revive relations since Morse took over power in the country in 2012, as the two countries adopted different positions on the conflict in Syria.

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria is supported by Iran, while the country of Egypt has been one of the leading voices in pushing for his departure along with other heavyweights in the region Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Ties were severed by Tehran in 1980 with Cairo over the peace agreement signed between Israel and Egypt by Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt at the time.

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