Breaking News
Egypt, Iran officials meet in latest sign of rapprochement Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egypt, Iran officials meet in latest sign of rapprochement

Archive: Iran and Egypt have had an awkward relationship in recent decades [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 December, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
An Egyptian official has met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the latest sign of rapprochement between the two countries.
An Egyptian official has met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the latest sign of rapprochement between the Middle Eastern powers.

Yasser Othman, the head of Egypt's Interests Section office in Tehran met with Zarif on Monday to discuss "regional issues", the state-backed Tehran Times reported.

The news has sparked renewed speculation over the future of Egyptian-Iranian relations only days after Egypt's foreign minister denied there were ongoing efforts to overcome strained diplomatic ties with Tehran.

Iran and Egypt have had an awkward relationship in recent decades. They have had no diplomatic relations since 1980, when Egypt offered Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi refuge following a revolution in Iran.

Egypt was tied to a Western embargo of Iran when Tehran was slapped with sanctions due to its nuclear activities until recently.

On Saturday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry denied his government was building its relations with Saudi arch rival Iran.

"Egypt maintains a severance of diplomatic relations in the past 25 years and has taken no position to change that situation."

"Egypt has always taken the opportunity of such discussions to re-emphasise the positions of the Arab nation, the interest of the Arab nation, vis-a-vis what might be expansionary policies of Iran," he added.

Leaked emails revealed last month that Iran had requested Egypt's attendance at key Syria talks held in the Swiss city of Lausanne aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict.

Iran's lobbying for Egypt's inclusion in the talks began a matter of days before Egypt stunned its financial backer Saudi Arabia by voting alongside Russia to block a draft UN Security Council resolution proposed by France which demanded an end to airstrikes in Aleppo.

As a result, Riyadh suspended oil aid to Egypt, estimated at some 700,000 tonnes of petroleum products monthly.

Shoukry also denied on Saturday that there was a rift between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, adding that they enjoyed a "special relationship".

Last week, sources told The New Arab that Saudi Arabia would not mend ties with Egypt until Shoukry was sacked and two contested Red Sea islands were transferred to Saudi sovereignty.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More