Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were on a landmark visit to the strategically important North African country to boost bilateral relations, including military ties, which have been in limbo for several decades.
“We agreed to take steps toward creating a legal basis for our agreements on military collaboration,” Shoigu said Thursday after a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo (photo).
According to Shoigu, the sides agreed to set up a working group for drafting a general agreement on all areas of bilateral military cooperation, as well as to hold a series of anti-terrorism and anti-piracy exercises.
Shoigu said earlier in the day that Russia was seriously inclined to developing close military relations with Egypt and intensifying bilateral contacts.
The Soviet Union and Egypt enjoyed close ties during the 1960s and early 1970s, when the Arab country was led by Abdel Nasser. But within years after the death of Nasser, the new president Anwar Sadat started reorienting the country toward the West and expelled about 20,000 Russian military advisers in July 1972.
Bilateral relations have since never warmed up to the previous friendship level.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy confirmed in an interview last week with Russia’s state-run English-language television channel, RT that the Egyptian government was considering buying Russian weaponry