Egyptian and Iranian top diplomats are engaging in talks to
boost bilateral ties amid increasing tension over the disputed
Iranian nuclear program.
The two nations are expected to resume dialogue to build up an
alliance against a potential military action on Iran, which would
threaten the whole regional security, experts said.
Efforts to normalize diplomatic ties
Asked about the prospect of normalizing diplomatic relations to
the ambassadorial level with Iran, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed
Abul Gheit said on Wednesday that "we seek to normalize relations
with Tehran through constructive consultations."
Abul Gheit's statements came after visiting Iranian Deputy
Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi held talks with senior Egyptian
foreign ministry officials on bilateral ties on Tuesday.
The ministry said in a press release following the meeting that
the two sides agreed on resuming dialogue, especially in terms of
bilateral relations on the level of senior officials and then
foreign ministerial level.
Araghchi's visit was the first concrete step taken by Iran after
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in May that his
country was ready to open an embassy in Cairo as soon as Egypt
agreed to do the same in Tehran.
Bilateral relations between Egypt and Iran, which were frozen
after the Iranian revolution in 1979, have witnessed a gradual
warming up in recent years. Iran and Egypt currently only have
interests sections in each other.
Gamal Mazloum, a retired Egyptian major general and an expert
with the Egyptian office of the London-based Gulf Center for
Strategic Studies, told Xinhua on Wednesday that Abul Gheit's
remarks are a positive step from the Egyptian side.
"Due to Egypt's good relations with the Gulf countries and its
regional influence, Iran has resorted to Egypt to assure the Gulf
countries that Iran have no aggressive intentions," Mazloum
Opposition against war on Iran
As for Iran's disputed nuclear issue, Abul Gheit said Egypt
supports a peaceful settlement, expressing Egypt's full rejection
of any military action against Iran.
"Egypt supports a peaceful settlement to Iran's nuclear file
through negotiations that would allow Iran to use atomic energy for
peaceful purposes in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty," he said.
According to Mazloum, the latest developments in the region
necessitate Egypt and Iran to come closer to each other and resume
dialogue, rather than that Egypt considers Iran as an enemy.
Egypt and Iran are the most influential countries in the region,
he said, adding that "Iran plays a key role in the region whether
we agreed or not."
If US threats to attack Iran came into reality, it would have a
negative impact on the Gulf states, Mazloum stressed.
Moreover, Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa on
Wednesday voiced an Arab stance against an unjustified war on Iran,
saying it would pose a threat to the whole regional stability.
The Cairo-based AL is following up the dangerous Iranian nuclear
file, according to Moussa.
He said "if the situation deteriorated and there was a real
threat of war against Iran, the Arabs would adopt a unified stance
against a war on Iran, which would pose a threat to the region as a
He lammed against hyping reports that war was knocking on the
door, calling for holding an Arab-Iranian dialogue, not just a
U.S.-Iranian one, in order to help solve the Iran nuclear
On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that
his country had to prepare for the possibility of a war against
Iran, following growing tensions over the Iranian nuclear
Washington has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons
under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.
It has threatened to keep all options open, including military
action, while promising to focus on diplomatic means to try to
resolve the standoff.
Iran, which always denies US charges, insists that its nuclear
program is for peaceful purposes only.
(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2007)