Ahmadinejad: Tehran-Cairo alliance counters enemy threats
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a strong alliance between Iran and Egypt in the region during a meeting on Tuesday in Cairo, with President Mohammad Mursi, saying it would drive away threats by enemies.
“If Iran and Egypt closed ranks, international enemies of humanity could not inflict any harm upon our nations,” Ahmadinejad said on the sidelines of the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to increase relations with Egypt in all sectors without any restrictions. The Iranian nation opens up its arms and the way for the development and progress of the Egyptian nation,” he added.
“From a historical standpoint, in case Iran and Egypt stay together, both will emerge winners and that would benefit not only the two nations, but also the entire region,” said Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian president, who is the first Iranian president to visit Egypt in three decades, noted that Iran and Egypt needed to coordinate their positions and settle the ongoing crisis in Syria. He also stated that Tehran and Cairo would be able to contribute to finding a resolution to the Palestinian issue.
Mursi, for his part, underscored the need for broader cooperation between Iran and Egypt, saying Tehran-Cairo relations are significant and influential both in the region and in the world. He called for cooperation between Iran and Egypt to find a solution to the spiraling crisis in Syria.
“I believe that the Syrian problem could not be resolved without Iran and Iran’s efforts in this regard are prioritized,” Mursi added. “…We have no doubt that Iran is sincerely endeavoring to resolve the problems in Syria and other nations. Hence, we stress cooperation with Iran in this field,” he added.
“Iran and Egypt can expand their cooperation in different sectors and the world will definitely witness a new form of Iran-Egypt cooperation. Iran and Egypt have always sought peace, progress and security because we believe that our nations are entitled to progress,” the Egyptian leader said.
In a meeting with the editors-in-chief of Egyptian media in Cairo later in the night, Ahmadinejad said Iran will study the US proposal for direct talks provided that Washington makes positive changes in its behavior.
“Remarks by US officials are new and positive and we hope that positive changes are made in their behavior too. If we witness positive changes in their behavior, then we will study it (the proposal) with a positive attitude,” Ahmadinejad said.
His comments came in response to a question about US Vice President Joe Biden’s offer of direct talks with the Islamic Republic.
Speaking at the 49th annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 2, Biden said Washington was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.