CORRECTED - Iran's president says wishes to visit Gaza
(In Monday story, corrects end of Ahmadinejad's term to August from June, paragraph 2)
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 August, 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 Kevin Liffey)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- India starts biggest day of voting with BJP gaining strength
- UPDATE 3-Google misses revenue target, ad prices slide
- UPDATE 3-Hundreds still missing in deadly Korea ferry accident
- HCL Tech March-quarter net up 59 percent, beats f'casts
- UPDATE 2-Leash on expenses helps AmEx counter muted user spending
More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. Full Article | Slideshow
New York City police disbands unit that watched Muslim communities . Full Article
The Christian faithful celebrate Holy Week, the week which leads into Easter Sunday. Slideshow