World Bulletin/News Desk
A high-level Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are due to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday for talks with their Egyptian counterparts.
The delegation will also include the first deputy director of Russia's Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation, Andrei Boitsov, along with officials from Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the spokesman added.
The visit comes less than a month after the United States decided to withhold the delivery of fighter jets, helicopters, rockets and financial aid worth a total of $260 million to Egypt's military-backed government until Cairo took tangible steps towards inclusive democracy.
Media report said that the Russian delegation's talks in Egypt will tackle a $4 billion arms sale deal with Egypt.
An executive with Rosoboronexport said that the state arms company is preparing for talks with Egypt about a weapons sale.
"We are ready to negotiate with the Egyptian side the possibility of deliveries of new weaponry as well as repairing equipment supplied in Soviet times," the executive told Ria Novosti.
Egyptian and Russian officials have not denied reports about a possible arms sale between the two countries.
On Friday, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati told Anadolu Agency that the two-day visit by the Russian delegation aims to boost bilateral relations and tackle a number of pressing regional issues, including the crisis in Syria and renewed peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.
However, Abdel-Ati stopped short of saying whether the visit would see any arms export deals inked between the two countries.
An Egyptian military official had earlier said that the Egyptian army planned to diversify the sources of its armaments, adding that Russia was being mulled as a possible new source of advanced weaponry in light of the US decision to freeze some annual military assistance to Egypt.
Washington has given Cairo $1.55 billion, including $1.3 billion in military aid, every year since 1979 as part of Egypt's Camp David peace arrangement with Israel.Last Mod: 09 Kasım 2013, 11:59