CAIRO — Egypt, which has had turbulent relations with Iran for more than three decades, says it is ready to open a "new page" with the Islamic republic, Egyptian media reported Tuesday.
"Egypt has opened a new page with all countries of the world, including Iran," Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi was quoted as saying by the local media.
"The Egyptian and Iranian people deserve relations which reflect their history and civilisation, provided they are based on mutual respect of state sovereignty and non-interference of any kind in internal affairs."
Arabi's remarks came during a meeting with Iranian official Mojtaba Amani who handed him a letter from Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
The meeting is thought to be the first between officials of the two nations since the ouster in February of Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising.
In his letter, Salehi urged Cairo to explore ways to develop relations between the two countries, the reports said.
He has also invited his counterpart to visit Tehran, while airing a wish to visit Cairo himself.
Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Cairo in 1980 after the Islamic revolution, in protest at the recognition of Israel by Egypt.
Since then the two countries maintain only interest sections in their respective capitals.
Under Mubarak, Egypt -- the most populous Sunni Arab state -- had worked to check the influence of Shiite Iran in the region amid concerns in several Arab countries over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and support to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.
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