Egyptian President Meets Iranian Parliament Speaker

A03168542.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Iran’s top legislative official who met Wednesday with Egypt’s president said the two countries could soon restore diplomatic relations severed nearly three decades ago.

Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said his talks with the Egyptian leader were “constructive” and that it was only a “matter of time” before the ties were fully restored.

He said President Hosni Mubarak expressed a “positive … approach toward developing bilateral relations.” For his part, Haddad Adel said he stressed the importance of also strengthening economic cooperation and kick-starting religious dialogue between the two Muslim nations.

The Egyptian side did not comment the meeting or Haddad Adel’s remarks.

“A strong Egypt, a strong Iran and cooperation between these two poles of the Islamic world could push forward peace efforts” in the region and on the international level, Haddad Adel said at a news conference in Cairo.

Iran has been pushing for improving ties between the two countries. Former diplomatic ties were severed in 1979 when Egypt signed a peace deal with Israel.

This month saw a flurry of Iranian-Egyptian diplomatic activity, with officials from either side visiting.

The US has repeatedly intimidated Arab countries into forming a front against Iran.

US President George W. Bush, who finished a tour of the Middle East earlier this month has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran.

But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.

Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran seems to have lost steam.

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