Military delegation visits Russia to expand cooperation
General Mohamed Al-Assar - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: An Egyptian military delegation, headed by General Mohamed Al-Assar, Assistant Minister of defense, flew to Moscow on late Thursday in an unannounced visit including a number of military officials, reported Youm7.

“The U.S. approach in dealing with Egypt during the recent period pushed the Egyptian government to turn to Russia to diversify its allies,” military expert Ahmed Ragae Atteya told the Rotana satellite channel.

Atteya said the next president must not only rely on one ally, and stressed the need for increasing the military cooperation with Russia to pave the way for “restoring balance” in the international arena.

The Egyptian visit comes two weeks after another visit conducted by a Russian delegation to Cairo to push forward the cooperative relations between the two countries on the military side.

According to Russian newspaper Izvestiya, Russian expert Sergei Sergeychev said that Russia drafted strategic plans to expand its military cooperation with Egypt.

He added that such a step “reflects Russia’s desire to cooperate with presidential hopeful Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi” if he took the power in Egypt after the coming presidential elections scheduled for May 26 and 27.

Former military General Adel Soliman, however, ruled out that the Russians would provide the suitable alternative for the U.S. to Egypt, and told The Cairo Post that the U.S. withholding of aids for a period led Egyptian decision makers to look to Russian as an alternative, but said that Russian arms would be prohibitively expensive for Egypt.

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