Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes historic trip to Egypt


Egyptian Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (R) holds hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting at Al-Azhar headquarters in Cairo on February 5, 2013. Ahmadinejad was on the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian president since 1979.



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Egypt on Tuesday, marking the first visit by an Iranian head of state since the 1979 revolution.

Ahmadinejad and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi kissed as the Iranian despot arrived in Cairo, The New York Times reported.

The warm welcome was quick to cool, however, with reports that someone aimed a shoe at the Iranian leader as he toured the capital, according to reports. The video's a bit ambiguous, but shoe-throwing is a form of public insult traditional to the region. Watch what happened here: 

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The Iranian news website Urumiye said the shoe was launched at Ahmadinejad as he went through a main square, adding that security forces were unable to find the person responsible, said the Guardian

Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya said a Syrian was believed behind the incident, tweeting: 

Iran is a vocal supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is has been fighting an armed insurrection against his rule for the last 22 months in a conflict that has left some 60,000 dead.  

Ahmadinejad was in town to attend a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, set to begin Wednesday, writes the BBC, and will also meet Egyptian officials during his time in country.

His visit comes a little over five months after Morsi's visit to Iran, the first by an Egyptian leader in more than 30 years, signaling the Egyptian president's first move to plot a new course for his country’s post-revolution foreign policy, GlobalPost's Erin Cunningham reported in late August.

Egypt and Iran's relationship has thawed since the election of Morsi, whose government is dominated by the conservative Islamic Muslim Brotherhood.

But Morsi made it clear he differs with Iran on the Syrian conflict. Whereas Iran's Ahmadinejad is one of the few remaining allies of Syria's embattled government, Morsi has said Egypt feels solidarity with "the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime."

Iran and Egypt had been at odds since 1980, when former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak signed a peace treaty with Israel, a sworn enemy of Iran.

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