Influential Egyptian politician and former Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa
Former Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa has described a planned visit to Iran by Egypt’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi as beneficial to Egypt and the Arab world.
“Establishment of relations with Iran is beneficial to Egypt and the Arabs and we should maintain ties with this country to benefit from its vibrant economy,” Moussa, who was also Egypt’s former foreign minister, said in a Wednesday report by the Al-Alam news network.
Moussa further confirmed that President Morsi had been invited by Iran to attend the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) leaders’ summit in Tehran in August, describing it as a good opportunity to exchange experiences with member nations.
Moussa emphasized that during his tenure as foreign minister he had empathized the need to establish dialogue with Iran as a state with a strong economy and far-reaching influence, but the suggestion was ignored by the country’s US-backed dictatorship.
In their first telephone conversation on July 4, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited Egypt’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi to participate in the forthcoming 16th NAM summit in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
"Your presence as the current head of the Non-Aligned Movement at Tehran's summit would be effective in advancing negotiations and ratifications," said the Iranian president.
Ahmadinejad also pointed to the common historical responsibilities and deep-rooted cultural and cordial ties between the two nations and stated that Iranians will always stand by the Egyptians.
In response, Egypt's new president expressed his optimism about meeting the Iranian president during the Tehran summit and said, “The Non-Aligned Movement is an important bloc that covers many Muslim and other countries in the world like an umbrella.”
The 16th NAM summit will be held in Tehran on August 26-31.
Iran severed ties with Egypt after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran's deposed monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Iran will receive the rotating presidency of the movement from Egypt for three years during the Tehran summit.
An international organization with some 120 member states and 17 observer countries, NAM represents nearly two-thirds of the UN members.