Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that his ministry is ready to help Egypt strengthen its military capabilities, according to the presidency’s spokesperson.
”I am delighted to convey to you the best wishes of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Shoigu said during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo.
He added that the results of the recent bilateral summit between Putin and Al-Sisi confirmed that Egypt currently occupies one of the most leading positions in Africa and remains a strategic ally for Russia in the region.
”The Egyptian President and Armed Forces are the guarantors of the independent and stable development of the country, curbing the spread of the terrorist threat in North Africa,” Shoigu said.
”The Russian Ministry of Defense is ready to assist in strengthening the capacity of the Egyptian national armed forces and defense capabilities,” he said.
Shoigu expressed gratitude to the Egyptian President for the opportunity to meet and discuss current issues related to Russian-Egyptian military and technical-military cooperation, reported the state-run Russian News Agency, Sputnik.
For his part, President Al-Sisi indicated that he hoped that the plenary session of the Russian-Egyptian joint committee on military-technical cooperation would be fruitful. The session, which will be held on Tuesday in Cairo, is considered the sixth.
”The Russian Defense Minister will hold a separate meeting within the activities of the joint committee with the Egyptian Minister of Defense Colonal General Mohamed Zaki,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Rossiyana Markovskaya told reporters on Tuesday.
”The meeting will focus on international and regional security issues, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as priority issues of Russian-Egyptian military-technical and military cooperation,” the spokesperson added.
Egyptian-Russian relations witnessed strategic developments during 2017 especially at its end, in conjunction with Russian President Putin’s visit to Cairo, which was accompanied by resolving a number of outstanding issues, including signing contracts for the Dabaa nuclear plant. Accordingly, further progress is expected during the current year.
In the same context, Egypt hosted for the first time late last month, the activities of the Egyptian-Russian joint training “Arrow of Friendship-1”, between elements of the Egyptian and Russian air defence forces.
In the same month, the two countries held the tactical “Protectors of Friendship – 2018” tactical exercise, involving more than 400 military personnel from the two countries, 10 pieces of military equipment, and 15 aircraft and helicopters for various purposes.