Egypt President in Iran for First Visit in Decades

Posted August 30th, 2012 at 2:30 am (UTC-5)
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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has arrived in Tehran making him the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iranian state television showed Mr. Morsi's red-carpet welcome in a live broadcast Thursday from Tehran's Mehrabad airport. He will attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that concludes on Friday.

Iran cut diplomatic relations in 1979 due to Egypt's support for the overthrown Shah and its peace accord with Israel.

Mr. Morsi has not addressed the issue of whether ties with Iran would be upgraded, only promising a more balanced foreign policy.

Iranian leaders welcomed Egypt's 2011 revolution that brought the Islamist Morsi to power.

At the summit, the Egyptian leader is to transfer the rotating leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement to Iran.

The NAM is a Cold War organization that was supposed to provide a forum for countries that were allied with neither the United States nor the Soviet Union. But since the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 the group has struggled for both identity and clout.