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Iran hails Hamas-Fatah agreement


TEHRAN (ISNA) - Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi hailed the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas. The Palestinian Hamas and Fatah have reached a preliminary agreement to form a unity government. The accord brokered by Egypt calls for legislative and presidential elections in a year.

Salehi called the agreement a "positive step" in line with materialization of historic ends of the oppressed Palestinians.

He said, "unity of Palestinian forces and their resistance against Zionist occupiers are two key and necessary factors for vindication of Palestinians' rights."

Iranian Foreign Minister expressed hope the event could step up developments in the scene of Palestine and acquisition of great victories by Palestinians in their confrontation against occupiers.

Salehi called the accord the first achievement of Egyptian great nation in the scene of Palestine after Egyptian developments and appreciated efforts of the new government of the North African country for the measure.

He expressed hope the agreement could lead to reopening of Rafah crossing point to pave the way for Palestinians' access to basic needs for life.

Egyptian Foreign Minister ready to meet Iranian counterpart

TEHRAN, April 27 (Mehr News Agency) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi has announced that he plans to meet his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting next month.
In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al Shorouq on Wednesday, al-Arabi announced that he will meet Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on the sidelines of the NAM foreign ministers meeting, which is scheduled to be held next month.

"This meeting is an opportunity to evaluate the next steps in regard to relations between the two countries," Egypt's new foreign minister added.

The Egyptian state-owned newspaper Al Akhbar also highlighted al-Arabi's promise to work on improving relations between Egypt and Iran on Wednesday. The daily quoted al-Arabi as saying that Egypt and Iran are in communication with the aim of normalizing relations between the two countries.

Earlier this week, Egyptian government spokesman Ahmed al-Saman underlined that the country is determined to resume relations with Iran.

After the collapse of Hosni Mubarak's regime, Iranian and Egyptian officials expressed interest in restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries and the Iranian foreign minister officially invited al-Arabi to pay a visit to Tehran.

Al-Arabi's comments came a month after Egypt -- in the wake of Mubarak's departure -- set Western alarm bells ringing by allowing Iranian naval ships to sail through the Suez Canal for the first time in 30 years.

Iran severed relations with Egypt following the Islamic Revolution of 1979 because Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel and gave refuge to ousted Iranian dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

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