Mursi Underlines Iran's Vital Role in Resolving Syrian Crisis
TEHRAN (FNA)- Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi stressed Iran's crucial role in resolving the regional crisis, including the problem of Syria, adding that Cairo favors strong regional cooperation with Tehran.
Speaking in a televised interview, his first to state TV since his election last June, Mursi described Iran as "a main player in the region that could have an active and supportive role in solving the Syrian problem."
Mursi, in a move to revive Egypt's role in the region, asked last month for Iran to join a quartet committee he called for which includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Egypt to try to find a solution to the violence in Syria.
"I don't see the presence of Iran in this quartet as a problem, but is a part of solving the (Syrian) problem," Mursi said, answering his French critics who oppose inclusion of Iran in the quadrilateral contact group.
He explained that Iran's close proximity to Syria and its strong ties with it makes it "vital" in resolving the Syrian crisis.
Mursi said he could meet with top officials of the three states of the Quartet during the United Nations general assembly meeting he will attend in New York this week.
"And we do not have a significant problem with Iran, it (the relation between Egypt and Iran) is normal like with the rest of the world's states," said Mursi who last month became the first Egyptian president to visit the Islamic republic in decades.
Relations between Cairo and Tehran were badly strained after Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Egypt signed a peace deal with Israel and became a staunch ally to the U.S. and Europe.
But it is now taking a position at odds with that of Israel and its western and American allies.