Tourism agreement shows signs of Egyptian-Iranian rapprochement

Iranian government officials and businessmen arrived in Egypt on Friday in a show of possible rapprochement between the two countries. Officials at Cairo airport said the Minister of Civil Aviation Ahmed Shafeeq headed the Egyptian welcoming delegation.

According to sources, Iranian and Egyptian representatives will discuss cooperation between the countries in tourism and aviation fields, including opening new airlines and establishing joint ventures. 

Egyptian businessman Rami Lakah on Friday told Al-Masry Al-Youm he reached an agreement with the Iranian company Kish Air to run flights between the two countries.

Lakah said that he had signed a US$1.37 billion contract with the Iranian company for a period of eight years.

"Egypt and Iran are the lungs of the Middle East which cannot breathe without them," said Lakah, who added that the two countries share a long history of cooperation.

The two countries do not currently enjoy official political relations. Diplomatic ties were cut off following the Islamic revolution which overthrew the former Iranian Shah in 1979 and have yet to be restored. Both countries, however, maintain a minimal diplomatic presence in the others’ capital.

Translated from the Arabic edition.

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