Egypt and Russia will hold a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean ocean later this year while Egyptian military personnel will be trained in Russia, as the two countries cement military ties.
Egyptian Defence Minister Sidqi Sobqi visited Moscow this week where he met with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The visit followed a trip by President Vladimir Putin last month to Egypt.
Yesterday the two ministers agreed to sign a deal on military cooperation between Egypt and Russia, Russia Today reports. The agreement will “determine the vector of our military cooperation for years to come,” said Shoigu following the talks.
“Naturally, in focus will be issues of training Egyptian servicemen at Russian higher education establishments of the Russian defence ministry and a number of other matters of mutual interest,” Shoigu said, according to Tass.
“The parties agreed to continue the practice of inviting Egyptian military to Russian exercises in the capacity of observers, and also to hold a naval exercise in the Mediterranean this year and an anti-terrorist exercise of rapid reaction forces,” Russia’s Defence ministry said in a statement.
Shoigu invited Egypt to take part in the Military World Games and the International Military-Technical Forum “ARMY-2015” in Russia.
Egypt has solidified military ties with Russia following the United States’ temporary suspension of military aid after elected leader Mohamed Morsi was removed from power in June 2013. In September last year Egypt signed arms contracts worth $3.5 billion with Russia. State-owned company Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov told RIA Novosti earlier that under the deal Russia would supply small arms, air defence equipment and artillery.