US raps Egypt-Iran resumption of flights

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday criticized an agreement between Egypt and Iran to resume direct flights between their capitals.

"We’re aware of the reports that they’ve signed a memorandum of understanding to resume direct flights," Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, told reporters.

"And we continue to urge all countries, including Egypt, not to pursue any new business deals until Iran complies with its international obligations," he said, referring to Iran’s defiance of UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program.

"Given the current atmosphere … we’re trying to discourage this kind of engagement with Iran, until it owns up to its international obligations," Toner added.

The agreement signed in Cairo on Sunday provides for 28 flights between Cairo and Tehran per week, but does not specify when flights will resume.

Ties between Tehran and Cairo have been severed since 1979 in the wake of the Islamic revolution in Iran and Egypt’s recognition of Israel.

Since then the two countries have maintained only interest sections in each other’s capitals.


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