Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid his first official visit to Russia, meeting with President Vladimir Putin, agreeing to increase cooperation, and discussing an arms deal that would include advanced weapons that could be used to fight Islamic terrorism emanating from Sinai.
J Post The parties discussed the delivery of Russian arms, including “24 Mikoyan MiG- 29 fighter jets, as well as its Kornet anti-tank missile systems, attack helicopters Kamov Ka-25, Mil Mi-28 and Mi-25,” Russia’s RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.
RIA Back in Feb. 2014, Egypt reached an initial agreement on how to implement a new Russian arms delivery deal worth over $3 billion. Egypt’s then defense minister and now president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi negotiated the agreement, aimed at replacing decreased assistance from Washington, during talks in Moscow on Thursday between Russian and Egyptian foreign and defense ministers.
The military leader was warmly received by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his first trip abroad following his seizure of power in a coup last year. Vedomosti cited Russian defense sources as saying that at the meeting the sides initialed or signed contracts for the delivery of MiG-29M/M2 Fulcrum fighter jets, air defense missile complexes, Mi-35 helicopters, coastal anti-ship complexes, light weapons and ammunition.
The arms deal was originally proposed during a November visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Cairo. The deal is reportedly to be funded mainly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“We are also actively developing military technical cooperation. In March, we signed a corresponding protocol. We are supplying arms to Egypt and have agreed to expand this cooperation,” the Russian president said in remarks at a press conference after the talks, the Kremlin website reported. “We fully share Egypt’s active stance in combating international terrorism, especially in conditions of an unprecedented growth of a terrorist threat in the Middle East,” Putin said.
Egypt signed a $2 billion arms deal with Russia, with financial support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a senior official told Al-Masry al-Youm in February. Moscow is seeking to boost its reach in the Middle East and ties with Egypt as relations between the US and Sisi’s government have been tense since the ousting of president Mohamed Morsi just over a year ago.