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Minister: Egypt Ready For 'New Page' With Iran

Egypt today said it looks to open a "new page" with Iran in comments that indicate a major policy shift 30 years after the two nations severed ties over the status of Israel.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby said the two countries "deserve to have mutual relations reflecting their history and civilization."

His comments came after talks with Iranian official Mugtabi Amani in Cairo today, the first official contact between the two countries since a massive uprising overthrew Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in February.

The Shi'ite Islamic Republic of Iran cut ties with Egypt, the Arab world's largest Sunni country, in 1980 over Egypt's recognition of Israel.

Relations under Mubarak remained strained due to concerns about the treatment of Egypt's minority Shi'ite community and the country's close ties to the United States, with whom Iran also cut ties in 1980.

compiled from agency reports