Iran’s Raisi Seeks to Restore Ties With Egypt

 – Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said a meeting of the Iranian and Egyptian foreign ministers in New York could pave the way for a restoration of ties.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran does not see any obstacle in establishing relations with Egypt, and this issue has been announced to the Egyptian side as well,” Raisi told a press conference at the end of his trip to New York for the United Nations leaders meeting, according to the website of the Iranian presidency.

“Today’s meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries can also be a chapter to start and revive relations between the two countries.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian at the headquarters of Egypt’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Amirabdollahian said strengthening relations “will serve common interests” while Shoukry underlined the importance of cooperating with all countries in the region in the face of ongoing instability.

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“In order to strengthen relations with neighbouring, Muslim, and aligned countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran will extend its hand to any country that want to cooperate with us,” Raisi added.

Relations between Egypt and Iran have generally been fraught in recent decades although the two countries have maintained diplomatic contacts.

Some Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, have taken steps to ease regional tensions in recent months.

Egypt’s Sunni Muslim Arab ally Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim Iran restored diplomatic relations earlier this year while Cairo has mended a rift with Qatar and re-established ties with Turkey.

(Reporting by Hatem Maher; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry)

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