Nazif and Davoudi hold discussions in Turkey
CAIRO: A meeting between Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and the Iranian vice president does not mean an improvement in the countries’ relations due to the unpredictability of the Iranian president, an expert says.
Prime Minister Nazif met with Iranian First Vice President Parviz Davoudi in Istanbul, Turkey during the Davos Economic Forum, ending Nov. 24th, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.
Emad Gad, an expert on international relations at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, believes that progress between Egypt and Iran cannot be predicted with certainty because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the kind of person to make one statement one day, and a contradictory one the next.
“I’m pessimistic relations will be strengthened, Gad told The Daily Star Egypt, “because of Ahmadinejad. He’s conservative, dogmatic and narrow minded. He can reverse things with a statement. He might revert on anything that happens.
According to Cabinet Spokesman Magdi Radi to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the meeting came at the request of the Iranian vice president. He added that Nazif and Davoudi agreed that political dialogue must be maintained between the two nations as well as consultations on regional issues. Radi added that the two also agreed that discussion be continued by the countries’ foreign ministers.
Radi also said that there would be great focus on economic cooperation between the two countries, and that is what the foreign ministers will discuss.
The Iranian News Agency IRNA quoted Davoudi as saying, “Islamic countries have the necessary power to solve the problems in the Middle East. And it does not need foreign intervention in the region. Egypt is one of the United States’ biggest allies in the region.
Davoudi added that relations between Egypt and Iran are not up to the required standard, saying that it was Iranian policy to cement ties with Islamic countries. He also stressed that relations with Egypt must be strengthened, especially in economic and social areas.
Gad told The Daily Star Egypt, “If relations do improve between Egypt and Iran, this might also improve relations between Egypt and Syria, which have been tempered of late. However I don’t see a significant improvement happening and this meeting [between Nazif and Davoudi] does not mean much.
Gad added that the meeting might also be a statement to the United States. “The Egyptians might be trying to make a statement to the US. Letting them know that they can deal with other countries without conforming fully to the US agenda.
Ties between Egypt and Iran have been strained since the Islamic revolution of 1979 and late President Anwar Al-Sadat’s decision to allow the overthrown Shah of Iran to seek exile in Egypt. Furthermore, ties between the two countries officially broke off in 1980, in protest over the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel.
The then new Iranian regime was so incensed by both these incidents that they named a street in Tehran after Khaled Eslamboli, the Egyptian army officer who assassinated Al-Sadat during a 6th of October parade in 1980. In January 2004, the Tehran City Council agreed to rename Khaled Eslamboli Street and full diplomatic ties were restored with Egypt. The street is now called Intifada Avenue.