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Iranian and Egyptian Presidents Hold First Phone Conversation in 43 Years

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi. Credit:

Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi made a telephone call to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on Dec. 23. The two Presidents discussed the crisis in the Gaza Strip and how to stop the slaughter there, and also the prospect of restoring diplomatic relations between Tehran and Cairo, reported Iran-based Fars News Agency.

The phone call marked the first official meeting or contact between the heads of state of Egypt and Iran in more than four decades. Raisi congratulated El-Sisi for winning his third presidential term on Dec. 18, and expressed hope for the resolution of existing issues between Iran and Egypt, and the restoration of diplomatic ties. He also spoke of joint efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Palestine.

Raisi said Tehran welcomes the enhancement of relations with Cairo in various fields. In 1980, Iran severed diplomatic ties with Egypt when then-Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat admitted the Shah of Iran into Egypt, after having diplomatically recognized Israel two years earlier.

On Oct. 21, 2023, President El-Sisi convened a summit of 20 Arab nations to discuss how to stop Israeli attacks on Palestinians, including his neighbors in Gaza. This changed circumstance has shifted the possibilities for collaboration. Fars reports: “Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that President Raisi’s foreign policy places a premium on enhancing ties with Muslim nations and regional countries.” Raisi and El-Sisi met on Nov. 11 for the first time on the sidelines of the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh. Today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The Egypt-Iran Presidents’ phone call on re-engagement is part of a longer arc of activity that has stirred up and unified Arab and Muslim nations within Southwest Asia.

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