Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi says Cairo’s foreign policies are guided by its national interests, adding that relations with the Islamic Republic are not to the detriment of other countries.
“Iran is one of the Islamic countries in the world and when Egypt has ties with Iran, these relations are against no other country,” Morsi said in an interview with Al Jazeera on Saturday, IRIB reported.
Iran severed its diplomatic ties with Egypt after the 1979 Islamic Revolution because Egypt had signed the Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran’s deposed monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Bilateral relations, however, have been on the mend following the 2011 Egyptian revolution that resulted in the ouster of the country’s dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
In August 2012, Morsi visited Iran to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It was the first visit of an Egyptian president to Iran in more than three decades.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also visited Egypt in February to attend the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the first Iranian head of state to visit Egypt in 34 years.
Elsewhere in his interview, the Egyptian president highlighted Iran’s role in resolving the ongoing crisis in Syria.
During a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in August 2012, Morsi put forward the initiative of forming a contact group on Syria, comprising Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in order to help end the bloodshed in Syria.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian troops and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting in the country are foreign nationals.