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Khatami upbeat about fruits of Iran-Egypt negotiations

Iran's President Mohammad Khatami said Tuesday he hoped negotiations held between him and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Geneva about two weeks ago would put an end to years of estrangement, IRNA reported from Tehran.

"Both Iranian and Egyptian official are determined and willing to remove obstacles on the way of (rapprochement). I hope the negotiations will bear favorable fruits," he told reporters here after submitting a draft budget bill to parliament.

The Iranian president also hoped that Egyptians' worries will be removed and "we would not have to relegate any of our values and principles".

"Relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Egypt are very important and they are presently good," he added.

Khatami and Mubarak met in Geneva more than two weeks ago, on the sidelines of a UN technology summit. Iran said later it had invited the Egyptian president to attend a summit of eight developing Islamic countries (D-8) in Tehran in February.

The Iranian president said, "Mr. Hosni Mubarak's meeting with me, which was held on the Egyptian president's demand, indicates that Egyptians attach importance to forging ties with Iran."

Khatami, however, admitted that there exist differences between the two strong Muslim countries over 'political and ideological issues'.

The Islamic Republic severed its ties with Egypt after its former president Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David peace treaty with the Zionist regime and harbored defunct Shah.

The two countries now run interest sections through foreign embassies in Cairo and Tehran, operated by Iranian and Egyptian diplomats.

... Payvand News - 12/24/03 ... --

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