Egypt, Spain discuss military collaboration

CAIRO—Egypt and Russia’s defence ministers have discussed military collaboration between their countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday during a landmark visit to Cairo.

Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu led a high-level delegation on a visit in the wake of a diplomatic spat between Egypt and long-time ally the United States triggered by the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Shoigu and “his counterpart (General Abdel Fattah al-) Sisi talked on military collaboration” between the two nations, Lavrov told a Cairo news conference, without elaborating.

Last week, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the discussions would touch on “military and technical cooperation”—a Russian euphemism for arms sales—as well as political and economic ties.

Sisi, who is both defence minister and army chief, led a military ouster of Morsi in July, after which he installed an interim government and promised elections.

Lavrov told the news conference with Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy that talks had also touched on boosting economic and trade ties.

Fahmy said “bilateral ties between Russia and Egypt are old, in particular in military areas, and this was discussed by the Russian defence minister with his Egyptian counterpart yesterday.”

The talks came as a Russian warship docked at an Egyptian base on the Red Sea, army sources said, adding that it was the second such vessel to arrive this week.

The unofficial visit was aimed at “strengthening links between the navies of the two countries”, they said.


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