Middle East

Egypt scholar scolds Ahmadinejad over Sunni rights

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, shakes hands with Grand Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's premier Islamic institution during their meeting at Al Azhar headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO: Egypt's top Sunni Muslim scholar told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Shiite Iran on Tuesday that his country must give full rights to Sunnis living in Iran and refrain from interfering in the affairs of Gulf Arab states.

Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of al-Azhar mosque and university, also urged Ahmadinejad to "respect Bahrain as a sisterly Arab state", according to a statement issued by al-Azhar's media office.

It said Sheikh al-Tayeb also rejected "the extension of Shiite reach" in Sunni countries. They met on the first visit by an Iranian head of state to Egypt since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, which overthrew the former shah.

 

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