Ahram (h/t MZ) Egyptian armed forces chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu on Thursday to discuss military cooperation between the two nations. We are welcoming you as dear friends”, El-Sisi told his guests at the beginning of the meeting. “You used to, and still do, occupy a special position of appreciation,” he added.
El-Sisi also said military cooperation between the two countries was entering a new stage, state news agency MENA reported.
Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said last week the talks would touch on “military and technical cooperation” — a Russian euphemism for arms sales — as well as political and economic ties, AFP reported. Lukashevich touted the talks as the first at such a high level “in the history of our friendly relations.”
Shoygu praised the Egyptian army for implementing the will of the people, in what appeared to be a reference to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July, according to MENA.
The Russian visit comes as Egypt’s relationship with the United States, one of Cairo’s main strategic allies for decades, has soured following the ouster of Obama-supported Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the military. Morsi’s removal came after tens of millions of Egyptians went to the streets to demand that Morsi step down.