Iran's president says wishes to visit Gaza

BEIRUT Tue Feb 5, 2013 5:58am IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a news conference in Nusa Dua, Bali November 2012. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a news conference in Nusa Dua, Bali November 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Related Topics

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is due to take part in a summit in Egypt this week, expressed his desire on Monday to visit the neighbouring Gaza Strip.

Asked in an interview on the Al Mayadeen news channel whether he would visit Gaza while in Cairo next week or before his term as president expires in June, he replied: "My wish is bigger than this. I wish to pray in Jerusalem after complete liberation."

Iran does not recognise Israel.

"If they allow it, I would go to Gaza to visit the people," he said, without saying whose authority he would seek.

Egypt controls the crossing with Gaza and leaders of Qatar and Malaysia have both visited the enclave from Egyptian territory in the last six months.

Ahmadinejad's visit to Cairo will be the first for an Iranian president since the 1979 Iranian revolution ruptured diplomatic ties between the two most populous countries in the Middle East.

He will head Iran's delegation to a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Sophie Hares)

FILED UNDER:

Coordinated Assault

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Article 

Indians in Iraq

Indians in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

After record deal, more India bank takeovers on cards  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Cricket Tragedy

Cricket Tragedy

Clarke breaks down giving heartfelt Hughes tribute  Full Article 

Nigeria Violence

Nigeria Violence

Bombs, gunfire kill 81 at crowded mosque in Nigeria's Kano  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

D’Silva's “Ungli” just skims the surface  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage