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Egypt Minister Proposes Opening ‘New Page’ With Iran, MENA Says

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March 29 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt is ready to “open a new page” with Iran, with which it hasn’t had full diplomatic relations since 1979, Foreign Minister Nabil el-Arabi said, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency.

“The Egyptian government doesn’t consider Iran to be an enemy state,” MENA cited el-Arabi as saying. “We’re opening a new page with all countries, including Iran.”

Restoring full diplomatic ties depends on the Iranian side, he said, according to MENA.

Egypt has accused Iran in the past of using proxy groups such as the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement to increase its influence in the Middle East. The two countries haven’t had full diplomatic relations since 1979, when former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat gave refuge to the deposed Iranian shah, Reza Pahlavi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.