Egypt to attend Syria talks in Vienna on Oct. 30

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is to attend international talks on the Syrian conflict taking place in Vienna on Friday, the state news agency said.

Russia had asked for participation in the talks to be widened to include both Egypt and Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s closest regional ally.

Egypt’s decision to take part in the talks is the latest signal of warming relations between Russia and Egypt.

Cairo has publicly come out in support of Russian air strikes in Syria, saying they would curtail the spread of terrorism and deal a blow to Islamic State, whose local affiliate is battling Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

However, it has avoided showing direct support for Assad, a leader whom Saudi Arabia, a close ally that has helped prop up the Egyptian economy, believes should be ousted from power.

Egypt’s decision to join the talks follows a visit by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to Cairo on Sunday. At a joint press conference, Shoukry made no comment on the Russian invitation and denied the two allies were at odds over Syria, where Saudi Arabia has backed some rebel groups.

Source: Reuters