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In positive step forward, Iran, Egypt agree on implementing joint projects

Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait (L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Ehsan Khandouzi in Cairo on September 25, 2023. (Photo by IRNA)

The finance ministers of Iran and Egypt have agreed to set up a committee for the implementation of joint projects.

Iranian Finance Minister Ehsan Khandouzi, who has traveled to Cairo to participate in the meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), met with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Maait on Monday.

It was the first meeting of its kind in nearly a decade.

Khandouzi said Iran is determined to expand relations with the neighboring and regional countries.

Pointing to the vast capacities of Iran and Egypt, the minister said Tehran was ready to bolster relations of cooperation in the AIIB, the Islamic Development Bank, a joint bank and shipping company between the two states, as well as in the exchange of pharmaceutical technology and medical equipment.

The Egyptian finance minister, for his part, said Cairo puts a premium on the proposals made by his Iranian counterpart.

Maait said Egypt also attaches importance to enhanced relations with Iran and expressed hope the two countries would witness the improvement of ties in the near future.

In a post on his X account, Khanduzi said he held “constructive talks” with his Egyptian counterpart. “The capital of Iran-Egypt bank will be increased soon.”

He expressed hope his meeting with Maait would help revive cooperation and promote the economic-diplomacy policy of the Iranian administration.

The Iranian finance minister arrived in the Egyptian capital on Sunday at the head of a high-ranking trade and economic delegation to take part in the annual meeting of the economy ministers of the AIIB.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a multilateral development bank whose mission is financing the Infrastructure for Tomorrow—infrastructure with sustainability at its core.

It began operations in Beijing, China, in January 2016 and has since grown to 106 approved members worldwide. It is capitalized at $100 billion and Triple-A-rated by the major international credit rating agencies. Iran joined the AIIB in January 2017.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry met on September 20 on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani described the meeting as a turning point in Tehran-Cairo relations and a positive step within the framework of Iran’s diplomacy of enhancing ties with regional countries.

Egypt severed its diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 after it welcomed the deposed Pahlavi ruler of Iran and also recognized the Israeli regime.

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