MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday promised Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to speed up the delivery of billions of dollars in arms and invited Cairo to forge free trade ties with a Moscow-led customs bloc.
The two strong-willed leaders have developed a warm working relationship since Putin gave his backing to Sisi’s presidential run during the Egyptian’s visit to Moscow in February.
Russian television showed the former field marshal descending the ramp of his plane and immediately being greeted with a display of heavy tanks and armoured vehicles assembled on the apron of the Sochi airport.
“We are actively developing our military and technological cooperation, “Putin later told Sisi at the Russian president’s Black Sea resort summer residence.
“We signed a corresponding protocol in March. We are delivering weapons to Egypt. We are ready to expand this cooperation. “Sisi in turn thanked Putin for being the first leader to invite him for a visit outside the Arab world since his swearing-in as head of state.
“All the people of Egypt are closely watching my visit and expecting a high level of cooperation between our states,” Russian state news agencies quoted Sisi as telling Putin.