|Iran, Egypt call for increased cooperation||
TEHRAN – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday began a historic visit to Egypt, where he will attend a summit of heads of state and government of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The two-day summit is scheduled to open in the Egyptian capital today.
Ahmadinejad, the first Iranian head of state to visit Egypt in 34 years, was received by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport.
During their meeting, Morsi called Iran an important country, adding that the Syrian crisis cannot be resolved without Iran’s involvement in the efforts to improve the situation, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported.
According to the report, Morsi also said that the two countries should enhance their cooperation.
Ahmadinejad described Iran and Egypt as two influential countries in the region, emphasizing the importance of expansion of relations between the two countries.
The Iranian president also met with Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb hours after his arrival in Cairo.
The Islamic Republic of Iran cut diplomatic ties with Egypt in 1980 after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 because Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel and offered asylum to former Iranian dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Morsi visited Iran in August 2012 to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. It was the first visit of an Egyptian president to Iran in more than three decades.
Relations between Iran and Egypt began to thaw after the election of Morsi, who assumed office on June 30, 2012. However, full diplomatic relations between the two countries have not yet been restored.
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