Tehran: An Egyptian Islamist and a long-time opponent of the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday, said reports.

Magdi Hussein, Secretary General of Egypt's Islamist Labour Party (Al-Amal), recently announced his intention to run for the presidential election later this year.

In the meeting, Salehi stressed "the need to preserve solidarity and alertness of civilised Egyptian people until the final triumph", in reference to the popular movement that led to the fall of Mubarak, reports said.

Al-Amal has been banned until now.

Salehi also emphasised "the determination and the willingness of both countries to establish strong and lasting relationships".

"Islamic Revolution of Iran is promising for Islamic unity," Hussein said, underscoring "the establishment of strong relations between the two nations and governments of Iran and Egypt".

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi, appointed after the ouster of Mubarak, said earlier this month that Cairo was ready to open a "new page" with the Islamic republic.

But days later al-Arabi said, "The stability and Arabhood of the Arab Gulf countries is a red line against which Egypt rejects any trespass," siding with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations who accuse the Shiite majority Iran in meddling in their affairs.

Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980 after the Islamic revolution, in protest against the recognition of Israel by Cairo.

Under the pro-western Mubarak regime Shiite Iran's influence in the region including support for Lebanon's Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza was a cause for concern, as was
the Islamic republic's nuclear drive.


(Agencies)