Iranian VP Arrives in Egypt to Invite Morsi to Attend Summit

VP's journey marks first time a high-ranking official from Iran travels to Egypt in decades.

Iranian Vice President Hamid Baghaei arrived in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday, where he was met by Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Moustafa Hussein Kamel, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

This is the first time that a high-ranking Iranian official is visiting Egypt in decades. Iran and Egypt have had no diplomatic ties since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution because of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, but the two countries cooperate on diplomatic affairs at a non-ambassador level.

According to the reports on IRNA, the Iranian VP is planning to meet with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in order to deliver an invitation for the Egyptian president to attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, scheduled to take place later this month in the Iranian capital Tehran.

"The president has yet to decide whether to attend the summit," Morsi's spokesman Yasser Ali was quoted by the Egyptian news website Ahram as saying.

The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states which say they are not formally aligned with or against any major world power bloc, or the West. It has some120 members, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, but also in Asia and South America

During the summit in Tehran August 26-31, Iran will receive the movement's rotating chairmanship from Egypt for the next three years, IRNA reported.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June congratulated Morsi on his election as Egypt's first Islamist president and called his victory an "Islamic awakening in the region," according to Iranian state television.

Egypt’s newly elected President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Egypt, July 31, 2012.