Egypt Bolsters Relations With Iran, Hamas

Government will end Gaza blockade
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2011 11:27 AM CDT
Egypt Bolsters Relations With Iran, Hamas; Plans End to Gaza Blockade; Israel Cites Concern
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil el-Arabi, right, talks to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the interim head of state.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, Pool)

(Newser) – As Egypt regroups after Hosni Mubarak’s exit, it is realigning its diplomatic ties: Officials plan to end the Gaza border blockade and forge closer ties with Iran and Hamas. As elections approach, officials say they’re working toward policies that better fit public opinion; meanwhile, they hope to regain influence in the region, the New York Times reports. “We are opening a new page,” says a Foreign Ministry official. “Egypt is resuming its role that was once abdicated.”

This week’s forging of a deal between Palestine’s Fatah and Hamas was the first step. But an Israeli official voiced concern about a “rapprochement between Iran and Egypt” and “an upgrading of the relationship between Egypt and Hamas,” citing “strategic implications on Israel’s security.” But “all the world has diplomatic relations with Iran with the exception of the United States and Israel,” says the Foreign Ministry rep. It’s no longer an “enemy,” but nor is it “perceived as a friend.” Click through for more on Egypt’s new diplomatic approach. (Read more Egypt stories.)

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