Iran to send deputy FM to Cairo

Minister will draft agenda for talks aimed at normalising ties with Egypt.

Updated: May 09, 2011, 16:18 PM IST

Tehran: Iran is to send a deputy foreign minister to Cairo to draw up an agenda for talks aimed at normalising ties with Egypt, local media reported on Monday.

"A deputy will go to Cairo in the near future to set up the agenda" for a meeting at the level of foreign ministers, Iran`s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying, without giving a date.

Salehi said he was also scheduled to meet his Egyptian counterpart, Nabil Al-Araby, in Bali on the sidelines of a Non-Aligned Movement conference starting on May 27.

"Currently, many oral and written messages and phone calls are being exchanged between officials of the two sides," he said.

Iran severed diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980 in protest at Cairo`s peace treaty with Israel signed a year earlier, and the two states maintain only interests sections in each other`s capitals.

But the two Muslim countries have signalled they plan to mend ties in the wake of the February 11 fall of president Hosni Mubarak`s regime.

Last week, Salehi expressed "optimism about the future of ties" with Egypt. "We want to bring relations to ambassadorial level," he told a news conference in Doha.

Bureau Report