14 November 2013

Egypt: Russian Foreign, Defense Ministers to Have Talks in Cairo Today

Photo: Aswat Masriya
The Russians visit follows a U.S. decision to cut military aid to Egypt.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu arrived in Cairo on Wednesday 13/11/2013, whereas Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Cairo on Thursday 14/11/2013 on the first high level visit for many years.

The Visit by the two Russian senior officials has stirred varying reactions in many capitals as US sources have spoken about Moscow's plans to sell arms to Egypt worth $1 billion.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Badr Abdel Atey said Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi will meet his Russian Counterpart on Thursday 14/11/2013 and will hold a press conference following the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs .

He said Minister of Defense and Military Production and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will meet his Russian Counterpart today and then the four ministers will meet President Adli Mansour.

A working lunch would be served at the Presidency and will be followed by a four way session of talks.

The spokesman said the visit by the Russian Defense and Foreign Ministers conveys a very important political message to the foreign world, adding both Egypt and Russia are keen to open new vistas of cooperation, adding Egypt is looking forward to deepening cooperation with Russia in all fields.

In the same context, US Blumberg website said Russia is currently negotiating the biggest arms deal with Egypt since the cold war, adding the deal includes Mig 29 fighter aircraft, Air Defense Systems, and anti tank missiles as a reaction to the US move to cut down Military assistance to Egypt.

Israeli Debka news website said the Russian Defense Minister is visiting Egypt to agree on an air defense system, rockets and building facilities for the Russian Navy in Alexandria Harbor.

The website quoted a military source as saying that arms that will be provided by Russia to Egypt includes an anti tank missile shield that will protect the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and territorial water.

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