Egypt's Morsi arrives in Iran for summit

2012-08-30 09:00
Egypt President Mohammed Morsi waves to his supporters in Cairo, Egypt. (AP, File)

Egypt President Mohammed Morsi waves to his supporters in Cairo, Egypt. (AP, File)

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Tehran - Egypt's new President Mohammed Morsi arrived in Tehran on Thursday for a landmark visit during which he will open a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, state television showed.

It was the first time an Egyptian leader has visited Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979, after which Tehran and Cairo cut diplomatic relations.

Iran has hailed the presence of Morsi - who comes from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - as a chance to thaw ties.

Morsi was welcomed at the airport in Tehran by Iranian Vice President Hamid Baqaei.

Morsi's spokesperson said before the visit that the Egyptian leader would stay in Tehran for only a few hours.

Iran's Al-Alam television cited unidentified Iranian officials as saying the Egyptian leader would see Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to discuss bilateral relations, regional events, and the revolts sweeping the Arab world that this year brought Morsi to power.

At the summit, Morsi was to deliver a speech starting the two-day summit and officially hand over the rotating presidency of the NAM, held by Egypt for the past three years, to Iran.

The NAM, representing 120 nations, covers much of the developing world. It seeks UN reform to dilute the power of the UN Security Council, upholds the creation of a Palestinian state, and criticises Western sanctions imposed on some of its members including Iran.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  iran  |  north africa
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