Egypt: Russia’s Shoigu in Cairo to strengthen bilateral ties

Egypt’s top general hailed a new era of defense cooperation with Russia on Thursday during a visit by Russian officials, signaling Egyptian efforts to revive ties with an old ally and send a message to Washington after it suspended military aid.

567899General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s army chief and defense minister, told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, the visit indicated the continuation of “historic strategic relations via starting a new era of constructive, fruitful cooperation on the military level”, the state news agency reported.

7567898Shoigu and Sisi talked about strengthening military relations between the countries.

Both sides billed as historic the visit to Cairo by Russia’s defense and foreign ministers.

76586689Egypt and the Soviet Union were close allies until the 1970s, when Cairo moved closer to the United States, which brokered its 1979 peace deal with Israel.

Tension between Cairo and Washington has mounted since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3. Last month, Washington announced it would withhold deliveries of some military and economic aid pending progress on democracy.

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