Interview with the head of the Office for the Protection of the Interests of Iran in Cairo
On May 16, 2022, Ambassador Nasser Kanaani, Head of the Office for the Protection of the Interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Cairo, visited ECFA along with a member of the office, at his request to bid farewell, on the occasion of the end of his tenure in Cairo, as he was received by the two ambassadors, Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, and Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director. The meeting was attended by Ambassador Dr. Alaa Al-Hadidi, ECFA member.
The guest indicated that despite his several meetings with officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past four years, it did not produce the outputs that he hoped to spread warmth in the relations between the two countries. He added that he had done his best to discuss the various aspects of his country’s relations with Egypt in a comprehensive and strategic manner, but his meetings with Egyptian officials did not go beyond dealing with some problems and issues that occur from time to time. He also stressed that there is an unwavering Iranian desire to enhance cooperation with the Egyptian side, noting that the Iranian people, as well as the Iranian leaders at all levels, support and affirm this approach, and that it is necessary to restore the official relations between the two countries to their previous state, to provide a comprehensive cooperative climate between them, as well as to find solutions to the region’s crises, based on their cultural and historical role in the region.
The guest also noted that as a result of a stagnation in bilateral political exchanges, a similar stagnation has emerged in economic relations, as the rate of trade exchange between the two countries declined, dropping from $600 million years ago to $10 million recently. He added that this does not make sense in light of the keenness of both the Iranian and Egyptian leaderships to support the economic aspects of their peoples, which requires the need to strengthen cooperation on both sides to achieve more progress in this regard. On his part, ECFA Chairman indicated that the decline in the trade exchange rate is mainly due to the stagnation of visits by businessmen from both countries, and that it is hoped that track II will succeed in restoring Egypt-Iran relations to their previous state, just as similar efforts culminated in overcoming obstacles between Iran and Saudi Arabia with Iraqi mediation.
In a related context, the guest indicated that he submitted his proposals regarding opening track II, but he did not receive an Egyptian response in this regard, explaining that they are still valid and existing despite that.