Egypt’s first freely elected president since the topple of Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Mursi, received a phone call from his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Wednesday inviting him to a summit in Tehran, Egyptian state news agency reported.
According to a report in Egypt’s state news agency quoting Mursi’s spokesman, Ahmadinejad congratulated Mursi on his recent win in Egypt’s presidential election. He also invited Morsi to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement which will be held in Tehran on August 29.
The report did not specify whether Mursi had accepted Ahmadinejad’s invitation.
Egypt and Iran had had no diplomatic relations since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with relations escalating in 1980 with Egypt’s recognition of Israel.
The call appeared to be the first contact between the two leaders since Mursi was sworn in as president of Egypt. Iran has previously hailed Mursi’s victory over former ex prime minister under ousted Mubarak, Ahmed Shafiq, in Egypt’s first free presidential election as a “splendid vision of democracy” that marked the country’s “Islamic Awakening.”
Mursi has denied giving an interview to Iran’s Fars news agency which had quoted him as expressing interest in restoring the long-severed ties between the countries. Mursi’s spokesperson said last week the interview never took place and that Mursi would file a lawsuit against the news agency, according to Reuters.