Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Officials: Iran, Egypt exploring possibility of meeting between Raisi and Sisi

Iran and Egypt have been holding talks in Iraq's capital Baghdad since March to discuss normalising relations between the two regional powerhouses, Egyptian and Iraqi officials told The National. They added that Tehran and Cairo are also exploring the possibility of a meeting between Iranian and Egyptian Presidents Ebrahim Raisi and Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The latest round of discussions began at the weekend, Egyptian officials said, although it is not clear how much progress has been made so far.

The talks have also touched on reducing tension in places where Iran wields significant influence, such as Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, by supporting allied governments or armed groups, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations have not been made public.

The two sides are also exploring the possibility of a meeting between Raisi and El Sisi.

The talks in Baghdad appear to be part of a continuing regional realignment in which Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations severed in 2016.

An Iraqi diplomat told The National that two rounds of low-level talks between Egyptian and Iranian officials were held in Baghdad in March and April this year.

“Both sides have welcomed Iraq’s efforts to mediate,” the diplomat continued, adding, “Both sides are putting out feelers and they are willing to move forward. There is no headway until now.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has announced that Tehran welcomes any positive development or progress that would strengthen the relations between Iran and Egypt.

Iran and Egypt cut diplomatic ties in 1980 after Cairo admitted the former Shah of Iran and recognized Israel.

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