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Iran's Larijani meets Egyptian President Mubarak

TEHRAN, Jan. 2 (Mehr News Agency) -- Ali Larijani, the representative of the Supreme Leader in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), met on Wednesday with Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.

During an almost weeklong stay, Larijani met with top officials, including Egypt's Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman, Grand Sheik Mohammed Seyyed Tantawi and other officials of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's prominent religious center.

He also held talks with Amr Moussa, the head of the Cairo-based Arab League who urged better Arab ties with Teheran, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Larijani said the two regional Muslim heavyweights are making progress in normalizing diplomatic relations.

Iran and Egypt cut ties nearly three decades ago over regional policy disagreements.

"There is no major problem and everything is moving forward," Larijani said after talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Tuesday.

Larijani described the talks as "positive and constructive."

Teheran cut diplomatic ties after Cairo signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979 and provided asylum for the deposed Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Larijani's visit comes amid a thaw between the two Muslim nations. It followed a visit last month to Teheran by Egypt's deputy foreign minister, Hussein Darar, and a preceding visit to Cairo in September by Darar's counterpart, Abbas Araghchi.

In May, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad offered to restore ties with Egypt. At the time, Ahmadinejad said his country was ready to open an embassy in Cairo as soon as Egypt agreed to do the same in Teheran.

The Iranian president has since repeated his offer.

There were also reports that Teheran has agreed to provide Egypt with badly needed wheat, at lower prices.

... Payvand News - 01/03/08 ... --

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