Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has become the first Iranian president to visit Egypt since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
He is in Cairo for a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation which begins on Wednesday.
The trip is meant to underline a thaw in relations between Tehran and Cairo but it has also highlighted deep theological and geopolitical differences.
“We have discussed some important key issues of the Islamic world and in the region,” Ahmedinejad told reporters. “Fortunately, for the sake of the world and reforming the region, we share common thoughts and similar ideas.”
But the Shi’ite Iranian was given a stiff rebuke by Egypt’s leading Sunni muslim scholar at the historica Al-Azhar mosque and university.
Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb of al-Azhar said Iran should not seek to extend Shia law, and should respect Bahrain as a state.
He also said Sunnis living in Iran should be guaranteed full rights.