(CAIRO) — In a sign of a major policy shift, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with top Egyptian officials in Cairo Tuesday.
Until recently, the two nations had no diplomatic ties since the Islamic Revolution in Iran three decades ago and the ascension of Hosni Mubarak as Egyptian president soon thereafter.
However, Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011 has resulted in closer relations between Egypt’s civilian Muslim government and Iran. Last summer, President Mohammed Morsi attended a summit in Tehran designed to reduce the isolation by the international community over Iran’s rogue nuclear program.
Morsi personally greeted Ahmadinejad upon his arrival in Cairo Tuesday for talks that included improving ties between their countries as well as discussing the ongoing Syrian conflict that threatens to destabilize the entire region.
Although Morsi may be trying to get closer to Iran, he’s also cognizant that reestablishing full diplomatic ties would likely jeopardize much needed economic assistance from Washington and the West.
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Dave Gilbert, CNN
Rafael Romo and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
James Griffiths, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN