Tehran-Cairo strong ties will benefit the region: Iran

May 4, 2011

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that a strong relationship between Iran and Egypt would benefit stability, security, and peace in the region.

“The two countries’ cooperation, especially in the political sphere, will contribute to the stability, security, and peace in the region,” Salehi said at a press conference in Doha on Monday after meeting with a number of Qatari officials.
Salehi also said that Iran-Egypt relations will not threaten the interests of any regional country. “We are optimistic about the future of the relationship between the two countries.”
Following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the new Egyptian government began making overtures to Iran. Iranian officials welcomed the rapprochement and announced that Iran is also keen to resume diplomatic relationship with Egypt.
Relations between Cairo and Tehran have been tense for decades. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Egypt provided asylum to the deposed shah, and when he succumbed to cancer in 1980, the Egyptian government held a funeral for him that then president Anwar Sadat attended. Tehran severed ties with Cairo in 1979 when it made peace with Israel.
On the political crisis in Bahrain, the Iranian foreign minister said that during meetings with Qatari officials it was agreed that the two countries’ officials would continue their consultations about the issue to find a way out of the current situation.
“We hope the regional countries take appropriate measures to resolve the issue of Bahrain as soon as possible,” he said.
He also said the crisis in Bahrain has no military solution, adding, “We are sure that if the issue is not settled soon, it will have negative repercussion on the region.”
---No more pretext for U.S. to stay in the region
Commenting on the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Salehi said the U.S. has no more pretext to stay in the region.
“If the U.S. dispatched troops to the region under such a pretext, the problem is settled now and they had better leave the region immediately and stop the merciless killing of the oppressed people in the region,” he said.
“(After the killing of bin Laden) there is no excuse for U.S. presence in the region, and I hope that the Americans would not find a (new) pretext to stay in the region.”
During his one-day visit to Qatar, Salehi met with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad discussing the latest regional developments and an expansion of Tehran-Doha ties.