Tags: Egypt | US | Russia | Sisi | Putin

Spurned by US, Egypt Seeks Putin's Help Against Jihadists

Image: Spurned by US, Egypt Seeks Putin's Help Against Jihadists
Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 13.

By    |   Friday, 11 Apr 2014 06:09 PM

A 19-member Russian military delegation is in Cairo for meetings with Egyptian officials, the latest sign of Cairo’s warming relations with Moscow following the Obama administration’s suspension of aid last year.

Egypt’s turn to Russia for weapons to combat a Sinai-based insurgency is viewed as a way to counter U.S. pressure following last year’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi by the head of the armed forces, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing Arab-language media.

In response to bipartisan pressure from Democrats including Sen. Patrick Leahy
of Vermont and Republicans led by Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham
of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky, the Obama Administration suspended aid to Egypt after last summer’s coup.

In March, the White House rejected an urgent appeal from Cairo for Apache helicopters, which the Egyptian military regards as critical to its fight against the jihadist insurgency in the Sinai. This has led some officials to argue that by blocking delivery of the Apaches, Washington is aiding the ousted, Muslim Brotherhood-linked Morsi government.

Responding to what it regards as Washington’s hostility, Egypt has turned to Russian President Vladimir Putin for weapons.

In February, Sisi and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin and negotiate an arms sale worth $2 billion.

A senior official said the deal would receive financial support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Since then, Sisi has worked with the Russian Defense Ministry to conclude a Moscow-Cairo arms deal, according to senior Egyptian sources quoted by the Kuwait newspaper Al-Rai last month.
 
The deal is said to include advanced aircraft, monitoring equipment and other weaponry to fight Islamist terrorist groups in the Sinai.

Russian-Egyptian ties are being strengthened in other areas, according to Arab media reports. Moscow has agreed to provide fuel for a second Egyptian nuclear research reactor, and Cairo is considering the importation of liquefied natural gas from Russia.

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MiddleEast
A 19-member Russian military delegation is in Cairo for meetings with Egyptian officials, the latest sign of Cairo’s warming relations with Moscow following the Obama administration’s suspension of aid last year.
Egypt, US, Russia, Sisi, Putin
323
2014-09-11
Friday, 11 Apr 2014 06:09 PM
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