Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Thursday described the two countries as “strategic allies,” PressTV reported.
According to the report, during a meeting with Morsi in Tehran, Ahmadinejad referred to Egypt as “Iran's strategic ally” and expressed the interest of the Iranian nation and government in enhancing cooperation and friendly relations with the Egyptian government and nation.
He pointed out that friendly ties between Iran and Egypt will be to the benefit of the entire Middle East and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to make its experiences and facilities available to the Egyptian brothers and [is ready] for the exchange of science, technology and expertise between the two countries.”
Ahmadinejad described Israel and the West’s hegemonic policies as a threat to the region and the world and added, “The arrogant powers never favor the progress and strength of independent and justice-seeking nations and their friendship or animosity toward nations are based on the long-term objectives that they pursue in the international arena.”
He underlined the need for reforms in all the regional countries, noting that the countries should be cautious about the way reforms are implemented.
Morsi, who visited Tehran to attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, said according to PressTV, “Egypt also considers Iran as its strategic partner and believes that, with a positive view to the future, everyone should provide suitable grounds for the regional developments.”
He added, “The feeling of friendship and fraternity between the Iranian and Egyptian people is reciprocal and we always honor the positions and the constructive forward march of Iranian nation in the process of growth, development and progress.”
Morsi’s visit to Tehran was a cause for concern that he would solidify the “terror axis” of Iran – Hizbullah, Syria and Hizbullah-dominated Lebanon in the north and Hamas to the south of Israel.
However, an official with the Muslim Brotherhood claimed this week that the visit is aimed at pressuring Iran to stop supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The movement’s Secretary General Dr. Mahmoud Hussein said that Morsi would raise the Syrian issue in his talks with the Iranian leadership and demand that Iran cease its military, economic and political support of Assad.
On Thursday, the Egyptian president called for a collective effort by all the regional countries to settle the existing problems and noted that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved through the mediation and efforts of the key regional players such as Iran.
Morsi’s spokesperson Yasser Ali said last week that Egypt and Iran won’t be reinstating normal diplomatic relations any time soon.
Ali said that Morsi’s visit to Tehran for the Non-Alignment Summit is protocol, not a sign of changing diplomacy.