DUBAI (Reuters) - Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed on Wednesday to Tehran to participate in the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Shoukry's visit is the first visit by the Egyptian foreign minister to Iran," Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency said.

Relations between Egypt and Iran have often been fraught in recent decades although the two countries have maintained diplomatic contacts.

Last September, foreign ministers of both countries met during the United Nations leaders gathering in New York and Raisi, who also attended the U.N. General Assembly, said at the time that the meeting could pave the way for a restoration of ties.

Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who also died in the crash, had met his Egyptian counterpart earlier this month in Gambia on the sidelines of a summit for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The two ministers had discussed efforts to promote bilateral relations and the latest developments in the region, especially the ongoing situation in Gaza.

(Reporting by Jana Choukeir and Tala Ramadan; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

By Jana Choukeir and Tala Ramadan