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UK paper confirms Tehran official's Cairo visit

MANAMA: Reports of a secret visit to Cairo by Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force Commander Qassimi Sulaimani were confirmed by a British daily yesterday.

Our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej had earlier published a report on the 'secret visit'.

"Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is seeking secret support from Iran to tighten its grip on power, which is a blow to Egypt's fragile relations with the West," The Times newspaper reported yesterday.

During the two-day visit, which followed Christmas and New Year, Sulaimani held talks with top officials close to Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi.

Sulaimani - who controls pro-Iran's armed militias' activities in the region, namely Hizbollah and Hamas - visited Cairo at the invitation of Mursi and other influential supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Group, the report said.

Sulaimani met Mursi's adviser for foreign affairs Essam Al Haddad and senior members from the Muslim Brotherhood Movement and discussed support for the government in the field of security and intelligence, it added.

Two senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood confirmed Sulaimani's visit to Cairo. One of them said "the government sought a high profile meeting with Iranian officials to send a message to the US - which puts pressure on Egyptian government - that we must be allowed to have alliances with whoever we want," the report said.



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