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Egyptian president to visit Iran (CNN) Cable News Network) From Mohamed Fadel Fahmy CAIRO, EGYPT 08/19/12) Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/19/world/meast/egypt-morsy-iran/index.html?hpt=imi_c2
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Cairo (CNN) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy will visit Iran to take part in the Non-Aligned Movement summit at the end of August, a presidential adviser said.
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It would be the first visit to Tehran by an Egyptian leader since Iran´s Islamic revolution and Egypt´s signing of the Camp David peace treaty with Israel in 1979.
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Morsy will arrive in Tehran on August 30 on his way back to Cairo from a visit to China, according to the adviser, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
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Morsy became the first democratically elected president in Egypt´s history in June, the candidate of the Freedom and Justice party, the Muslim Brotherhood´s political wing.
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Word of his planned visit comes as the United States is tightening sanctions on Iran amid persistent tension and concern over Tehran´s nuclear program.
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Morsy recently proposed that Iran, a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, be included in a group to mediate an end to Syria´s civil war.
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Before the ouster last year of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt sided with Sunni-led Saudi Arabia and Sunni-dominated Arabian Gulf States toward the isolation of Shiite-led Iran.
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Cairo University political science professor Safwat Allam said it is "a natural progression for Morsy to restore relations with Iran to serve the interests of both countries."
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"Improving relations with Iran will establish Egypt´s leading role in the region and set a balance between the Sunni-Shiite religious presence," Allam said.
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While Egypt and Iran have conducted low-level diplomatic relations for years, higher-level relations would "give Morsy a bargaining chip to pressure the Americans into strategic decisions revolving around the region´s political future," he said. "He can also mediate between Shiite-led Iran, Sunni-dominated Saudi at a time where the relations between the two nations are withering."
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The Non-Aligned Movement includes 120 countries that claim not to be aligned with any world power. (© 2012 Cable News Network 08/19/12)
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