Russian foreign and defense ministers due in Cairo Wednesday
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu will spend two days in discussions with Egypt’s top leaders on a major deal for the purchase of Russian arms, Moscow’s request for naval facilities at an Egyptian Mediterranean port and the renovation of the Aswan High Dam electricity generators. DEBKAfile: This breakthrough in Russian-Egyptian relations was engineered by Saudi Intelligence Director Prince Bandar bin Sultan when he met President Vladimir Putin Moscow last July.
An Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman denied Monday that improved relations with Russia came at the expense of its relations with Washington. Egypt’s national interests would best be served by “diversifying its options,” he said. US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo last week to try and slow Egypt’s burgeoning ties with Russia. Cairo is bidding for topline Russian weapons including anti-air missiles.