Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has underlined the significance of the enhancement of bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic and Egypt in all areas, particularly in the tourism sector. In a meeting with visiting Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said expansion of Tehran-Cairo ties would ensure “peace, security and brotherhood.” Pointing to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Iran and Egypt in the field of tourism, Ahmadinejad said cooperation between the two countries in this sector can help strengthen mutual relations in economic, trade and scientific areas. Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, 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 Egyptian minister, for his part, described the tourism MoU as a “grand measure” and conveyed the greetings of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to President Ahmadinejad. Iran severed its diplomatic ties with Egypt after the 1979 Islamic Revolution because Egypt had signed the Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran's deposed monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Bilateral relations, however, have been on the mend following the 2011 Egyptian revolution that resulted in the ouster of the country’s dictator Hosni Mubarak. On February 18, head of Egypt's Interest Section in Iran, Khalid al-Said Ibrahim Amari, said a large Egyptian economic delegation, comprising financial activists and the representatives of various fields in Egypt’s private sector, would soon visit Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also visited Egypt in February to attend the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Ahmadinejad was received by Morsi upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport. He was the first Iranian head of state to visit Egypt in 34 years. Morsi visited Iran in August 2012 to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It was the first visit of an Egyptian president to Iran in more than three decades. YH/HMV