Iran says resuming ties with Egypt a matter of time

CAIRO Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:29am EST

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CAIRO (Reuters) - A resumption of full diplomatic ties between Iran and Egypt is only a matter of time, Iran's Speaker of Parliament Gholamali Haddadadel said on Wednesday.

Iran broke off ties with Egypt after the 1979 Islamic revolution in anger when President Anwar Sadat hosted the deposed pro-Western Shah in Cairo. Both countries are represented by interest sections but ties have improved over the past five years.

Haddadadel described as "minor issues" Egyptian demands that a Tehran street named after the assassin of Sadat should be changed and murals in the Iranian capital of the assassin removed.

"These are partial and minor issues that could be solved in bilateral talks between the two countries and are not considered among the key obstacles in the normalization of relations," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Asked about the key obstacles preventing the resumption of full ties, he said: "The matter only needs time."

Mubarak and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke by telephone about regional issues this month, the first direct talks between the two leaders.

Ahmadinejad said in May that Tehran was ready to revive ties with Egypt and open an embassy in Cairo.

(Reporting by Alaa Shahine; Editing by Stephen Weeks)

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