Egypt's Sisi, Putin to discuss closer ties in Moscow talks

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week for the third time in a year to continue promoting closer strategic and economic relations, officials said Thursday.

Egypt and Russia have sought to boost ties since then army chief Sisi ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, which strained Cairo-Washington ties for months.

Sisi's trip, from Tuesday through Thursday, reflects "a common will to strengthen and promote strategic relations between the two countries," his office said.

The Kremlin, which said Sisi is to meet Putin on Wednesday, said their talks "will focus on strengthening bilateral relations, including boosting economic cooperation."

The two will also discuss issues concerning the Middle East, it added.

Sisi, who has made security and economy the cornerstones of his presidency, is also expected to meet top Russian business leaders to seek investment in Egypt.

Cairo and Washington have patched up their diplomatic rift in recent months, with President Barack Obama's administration growing supportive of Sisi as he battles an Islamic State insurgency that has rocked the country.

However, Washington remains critical of Egypt's human rights record.

Putin visited Egypt in February, his first visit to the country in a decade. Sisi travelled to Russia last August, three months after he was elected to succeed Morsi, and again in May.


© 2015 AFP

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