Ahmadinejad calls for closer Iranian-Egyptian ties in tourism sector

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the enhancement of bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic and Egypt in all areas, especially in the tourism sector. 
 
Ahmadinejad met with visiting Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou on Wednesday and said the expansion of Tehran-Cairo ties would ensure “peace, security and brotherhood,” reported local media site RINF. 
 
Referring to a memorandum of understanding signed between Iran and Egypt in the field of tourism, the Iranian president said cooperation in this sector could help strengthen relations in economic, trade and scientific areas.
 
Director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) and Zazou signed the MoU on Wednesday.
“Tehran-Cairo cooperation in the field of tourism and the signing of the MoU in this regard constitute an excellent starting point that can generate many blessings for both nations,” Ahmadinejad said.
 
The move marks a new approach to the Iranian-Egyptian relationship.
 
Iran severed diplomatic ties with Egypt after the 1979 Islamic Revolution due to Egypt’s signing of the Camp David Accords with Israel. Egypt also offered asylum to Iran’s deposed monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
 
Bilateral relations have been on the mend following the 2011 Egyptian revolution that resulted in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
 
Ahmadinejad visited Egypt in February to attend the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He was received by President Mursi upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport. That marked the first Iranian visit to Egypt by a head of state in 34 years.
 
Mursi visited Iran in August 2012 to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) marking the first visit by an Egyptian president in over three decades.

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