Iran-Egypt ties need patience - Iranian FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran and Egypt are taking steps to resume diplomatic relations, stressing the improvement of ties should be pursued "with patience."
"Egypt is currently under certain pressure... However, the Egyptian government and nation have consensus about the improvement of relations with Iran as soon as possible," IRNA quoted Salehi as saying on Sunday.
Iran and Egypt have not had diplomatic relations since 1980.
Iran severed ties with Egypt after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran's deposed dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Iran and Egypt have expressed readiness to resume talks following the ouster of Egypt's pro-Western President Hosni Mubarak.
In line with the two countries' efforts to normalize relations, Iranian foreign minister and his Egyptian counterpart Nabil al-Arabi held talks on the sidelines of the 16th meeting of foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Bali, Indonesia, on May 25.
Salehi further touched upon the case of an Iranian diplomat who was released after two hours in custody in Egypt and said, "The case was merely a misunderstanding which was resolved."
"The individual is currently following his normal schedule," the top Iranian diplomat pointed out.
On Sunday, the Saudi-owned satellite television channel Al-Arabiya, claimed that Egypt's Security Prosecution had arrested an Iranian diplomat on charges of espionage.
It appears that they arrested the Iranian diplomat without the knowledge of Egypt's Foreign Ministry to create media hype against Iran.
Iran's Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said on Sunday the Egyptian officials released the Iranian diplomat after taking him into custody and offered their apologies.
According to Egypt's official news agency, MENA, the detainee was released after the Foreign Ministry Security Prosecution learned that "he was a diplomat with the Iranian mission."