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Ali Larijani Photo: EPA
Ali Larijani Photo: EPA
 
Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photo: AFP
Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photo: AFP
 
 

Report: Egypt bars Iranian official from visiting Gaza

Cairo rejects Iranian parliament speaker's request to visit Gaza Strip. Turkish FM denies reports Erdogan was slated to visit enclave

Dudi Cohen
Published: 12.01.12, 14:11 / Israel News

Cairo has rejected the Iranian parliament speaker's request to visit Gaza, according to reports in the Islamic Republic.

 

Ali Larijani toured several countries in the region in recent days, and appears to have been planning to stop by the Gaza Strip, but was denied permission to cross Egypt's border with Rafah, the Iranian site Mashriq News reported.

 

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The Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said he requested authorization to visit the enclave but has yet to receive a reply.

 

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denied reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was set to visit the Hamas-run Strip next week.

 

"Erdogan's agenda does not include such a visit at this time," Davutoglu said.

 

Iranian support

A day after the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas went into effect last week, Iran's Larijani was dispatched to meet with leaders in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. The regional tour meant to tackle the two diplomatic challenges faced by the Islamic Republic in the Middle East: the civil war in Syria and the hostilities between Israel and Gaza.

 

In a press conference held in Lebanon, Larijani urged Arab countries to arm the Palestinians in Gaza, saying the time for diplomacy has run out.

 

"We proudly declare that we supported the Palestinian people and Hamas, and we proudly declare that we stood by the Palestinian people in the most difficult situations," he said.

 

The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said at the time that Tehran did not supply Hamas with Fajr-5 missiles, but did supply the Gaza terror organization with "technology" to produce the missiles.

 

Elior Levy contributed to the report

 

 

 

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