The London-based Al-Hayat newspaper said Friday that President Mohamed Morsy will not attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran at the end of August, where Egypt is scheduled to hand over chairmanship of the movement to Iran.
A source close to the presidency said either Prime Minister Hesham Qandil or Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr would likely represent Egypt at the summit. The source added that Morsy decided not to attend after being advised that he should not visit Tehran. The source did not reveal from whom the president received this advice.
Morsy was told that he could face public criticism for visiting Iran because of Tehran’s support for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, the source explained.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Morsy to invite him to the summit scheduled for 29 August. It would have been the first time an Egyptian president visited Iran since the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Egypt and Iran are among the most prominent member states of the Non-Aligned Movement, which was established in 1955 to emphasize non-alignment with world superpowers.