TEHRAN – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will meet with Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb hours after his arrival in Cairo on Tuesday in the first visit by an Iranian head of state to Egypt in 34 years, Gulf News quoted an Egyptian diplomatic source as saying on Monday.
“They will discuss the role of Al-Azhar in espousing Islamic causes and prospects for cooperation,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
According to the report, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will receive Ahmadinejad at the airport and they are expected to hold talks on the sidelines of a summit of heads of state and government of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which will be held in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday and Thursday.
The OIC summit will be the biggest international event Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has hosted since taking power seven months ago as the first democratically elected leader in Egypt’s 5000-year history.
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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