Ahmadinejad visits Egypt - next stop Gaza?

By Anna Sheinman, February 5, 2013
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in Cairo in the first Iranian state visit to Egypt since its revolution in 1979 and says he also wants to visit Gaza.

Mr Ahmadinejad was greeted at the airport by Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi. The visit by Mr Ahmadinejad is said to represent a thaw in Egypt-Iran relations following the 2011 uprising in Egypt and the election of an Islamist party.

The Iranian leader is in Cairo in order to attend a summit on Islamic co-operation on Wednesday.

Speaking in a television interview with Beirut station Al Mayadeen on Monday, Mr Ahmadinejad said: "The political geography of the region will change if Iran and Egypt take a unified position on the Palestinian question.”

He also said he wanted to visit neighbouring Gaza, which is run by the Islamist Hamas. He said: “If they allow it, I would go to Gaza to visit the people."

Last updated: 11:49am, February 5 2013