Egypt cancels Iranian FM's visit

Sept. 5, 2010 at 8:10 AM
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CAIRO, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Egypt has canceled a visit by Iran's foreign minister who criticized President Hosni Mubarak for attending the Washington summit last week, officials said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was to have attended a meeting of non-aligned Arab members in Cairo Monday, the London based Asharq al-Awsat said Sunday.

Mottaki said the Arab leaders at the summit in Washington last week were "betraying their nations."

Egypt's Foreign Ministry said it summoned Iran's charge d'affaires in Cairo and notified him that Monday's visit was canceled and the meeting postponed, the newspaper said.

Iran has an uneasy relationship with U.S.-allied Arab nations, which have watched Tehran's growing influence in the Middle East with concern because of suspicions about its nuclear program and its support for radical Islamic groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, the paper said.

Iran severed ties with Egypt after it signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979, and also provided asylum to Iran's deposed Shah Mohammed Rezaz Pahlavi.

The Palestinian Authority also condemned remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who criticized Abbas for participating in the summit, said.

Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said Ahmadinejad does not represent the Iranian people, having "falsified the elections (he) took power by fraud, and has no right to talk about Palestine, its chairman or his representatives."

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