Egypt seeks to improve ties with Iran after talks in Cairo: sources
Discussions have recently taken place between Egypt and Iran with the aim of improving relations between the two countries and reaching an understanding on how to prevent collision on a number of regional crises, Egyptian sources told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed Monday.
The sources revealed that an Iranian intelligence delegation met with Egyptian officials in Cairo last week, “in light of a new Egyptian foreign policy towards all major powers in the region, based on not interfering in any crises via proxies and prioritising Egyptian interests.”
The topics discussed at the meeting have been a subject of constant contention between Cairo and Tehran for a long time and a cause of worsening relations over the years.
The sources indicated that the Cairo discussions were not aimed at fully normalising relations, but rather to establish permanent channels with Iran for bilateral coordination on various issues of importance to both sides, to prevent future clashes.
On whether these developments will anger Egypt’s regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE – Iran’s rivals – the sources stressed that there has been a major shift in Cairo’s foreign policy that will not allow any country to act on its behalf regardless of their close ties.
Iranian charge d’affairs in Egypt, Nasser Kanaani, had previously sent a message to the Egyptian government expressing his country’s willingness to open a new page in relations between the two countries, the sources revealed.
According to the sources, some of Egypt’s goals in bettering ties with Iran include its ambitions of becoming a mediator between Tehran and Gulf states that could potentially bring economic opportunities to Egypt.
Iran also sought to address any Egyptian concerns regarding Iranian military activity in Yemen and the Red Sea among other topics, as well as the safety of Iranian ships passing through the Suez Canal, the sources added.
The two countries also discussed the situation in Syria and their contributions to the reconstruction process in the war-torn nation.