President Mohamed Morsi receives an invitation to Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. The two states are working to improve relations., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
NAM Summit signals thaw in Iran-Egypt relations
BEIJING, Aug. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- All eyes are on Iran as the Non-Aligned Summit is currently underway. Front and center, an historical visit by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Iran is also taking the opportunity to initiate a peace proposal on the Syrian crisis.
Iran is putting its best face forward making the most of the international spotlight as it shines on the country this week. While Western powers attempt to increasingly isolate Iran over a controversial nuclear program, the country is playing host to the Non-Aligned Summit-a gathering of 120 nations- second only to the United Nations General Assembly.
Among the visiting dignitaries, the first by an Egyptian leader in more than 30 years, the visit is seen by some analysts as a thawing of otherwise frosty relations between Cairo and Tehran.
Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, Poli. Sci. Prof., UAE University, said, "We should not minimize this visit. This is a four hour visit by President Morsi of Egypt to Iran, but this four-hour meeting or visit is going to change 30 years of Egypt’s foreign policy towards Tehran."
A chance also for Egypt to show a new post-Hosini Mubarak era-different to that of the ousted leader.
Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla also said, "Egypt is a very important regional power and it has stayed out of regional politics for so long. Now Egypt is trying to take its right position in the region. Second, more important than that, I think Egypt is signaling it’s becoming independent of America. It’s becoming independent of foreign powers and it’s setting up its own agenda."
An agenda that includes setting up a contact group comprising Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to seek an end to the conflict in Syria, a proposal with its share of skeptics.
Riad Kahwaji, CEO, Inst. For Near East & Gulf Mil. Analysis, said, "It’s all PR moves just to say we’re regional players, we have a role over here. The situation in Syria is too big for just a number of regional countries to attempt to solve it. This is something at the scale of the UN Security Council to be able to resolve."
Despite the skepticism, Iran is still trying its best to assert itself on the world stage as a dominant regional power, and this time around by spearheading a peace initiative-be a part of the solution and not the problem.