World Bulletin/News Desk
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi on Wednesday asserted that Egypt's special ties with Russia were not meant to be an "alternative" to the country's relations with other states, in a veiled reference to Egypt's longstanding "strategic relationship" with Washington.
"We don't want Russia to be an alternative to anybody," Fahmi said at a joint press conference with visiting Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Egypt's top diplomat said that Cairo and Moscow were looking forward to bolstering cooperation that would serve the interests of both countries.
"We look forward to continued strong and stable relations with Russia," Fahmi asserted. "We appreciate the Russian role in the Middle East. We want to reactivate the relationship that existed in the past."
Lavrov, for his part, voiced similar sentiments.
"We are strategic partners of Egypt," the Russian minister stressed. "We have had friendship with the Egyptian people for decades."
"We aren't against anybody. In today's world, we must abandon these conceptions," Lavrov insisted.
Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are currently on a two-day visit to Egypt – their first trip to the country since the July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the powerful military establishment.
The visit comes less than one month after the US decided to suspend the delivery of fighter jets, helicopters and missiles – in addition to $260 million in cash transfers – to Egypt's military-backed government until the latter took tangible steps towards inclusive democracy.
According to media reports, the Russian delegation's talks in Egypt will also cover a proposed $4 billion arms sale to Egypt.
If it goes through, the deal will be the largest since late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat cancelled a major arms deal with the then Soviet Union in 1977.Last Mod: 14 Kasım 2013, 12:42