Russia’s Putin to visit Egypt next February 9 – Sources

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will start a two-day official visit to Egypt on February 9, diplomatic sources from Moscow said.

Putin’s visit will tackle means to boost the bilateral relations between Moscow and Cairo.

In earlier statements, Russian President Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdano referred that Egypt and Russia are in talks to coordinate the first visit of the Russian president to Egypt.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s first visit to a foreign non-Arab/African state after he was sworn in as president 8 June, following a landslide electoral victory, was to Russia.

Sisi has visited Moscow twice. On his second trip to Moscow in August he invited his Russian counterpart to visit Egypt.

He first went as a defence minister and army chief in February where he reportedly negotiated an arms deal with Putin.

In August, Sisi visited Moscow again as president and both leaders announced their plans for enhancing bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, investment and energy.

Egypt had strong ties with Russia in the 1950s and 1960s, and the Soviet Union was the main supplier of arms to Egypt until the early 1970s. Relations soured after Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty bringing in some $1.3 billion in annual US military aid to Cairo in 1979.