By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has called on Egypt to form a strategic alliance with Iran.
Ahmadinejad accused outside forces of keeping the two nations from a rapprochement.
Ahmadinejad was speaking on February 6 in Cairo.
Ahmadinejad is on the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades.
The two nations broke ties in 1979, the same year of Iran’s Islamic revolution and the signing of a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.
Also in Cairo, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced Iran will cancel visa requirements for Egyptian merchants and tourists.
Quoted by Egypt’s state news agency, MENA, Salehi also said relations between the two countries were improving “every day.”
Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi gave Ahmadinejad a red-carpet welcome on February 5 to a summit of Islamic nations.