Sunday, August 19, 2012

Egypt's Morsi warming up to Iran

From Egypt Independent:
President Mohamed Morsy will attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, Iran on 30 August on his way back from a visit to China on 27 August, sources at the presidency told MENA on Saturday.

Morsy received an invitation to the summit from the envoy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamid Baqaei.

"We look forward to Egypt’s participation as a founding member of the movement," Baqaei said.

The presidency of the Non-Alignment movement would be handed over by Egypt to Iran during the summit, which would also discuss the challenges facing the movement.

Diplomatic relations between Egypt and Iran were severed more than 30 years ago, but since Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was toppled, both Cairo and Tehran have signaled interest in renewing ties.
Earlier, Egypt said it would send a lower-level representative to the Tehran summit, as most nations are.

It seems improbable that Morsi does not understand the symbolism of this move, as it is a clear slap in the face of the West trying to isolate Iran. To an extent, it is also a power play as Egypt wants to re-assert its leadership of the Arab world, a status that Saudi Arabia has been trying to take for itself.

This is only good news for Iran.