Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Mohamed Morsi of Egypt meeting in Cairo. This was the first visit of an Iranian leader in over thirty years., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Iran's president meets Egypt's top cleric to ease ideological tension
CAIRO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- On his first visit to Egypt, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held talks on Tuesday with Egypt's top cleric Ahmed al-Tayyeb, head of al-Azhar Islamic institution, in an attempt to ease the ideological tension between religious leaders of Shiite Iran and Sunni Egypt.
"The points of view between the two sides are greatly close with regards to the issues related to the region and the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad told reporters at a press conference following the meeting, praising "the good relations" between peoples of the two countries throughout history.
Ahmadinejad also described his earlier talks with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and other Egyptian officials as "fruitful. "
For his part, top cleric's adviser Hassan al-Shafie expressed al-Azhar's rejection as a Sunni institution of Shiite attempts to spread Shiism in Sunni lands as well as their insult of Sunni symbols.
"We call for spreading tolerance in religious learning assemblies in both Egypt and Iran," al-Shafie said, demanding full rights of Sunni citizens in Iran.