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Egypt's defence minister heads to Spain for military cooperation talks

In May, Sedki Sobhi and his Spanish counterpart Pedro de Morenés signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Oct 2015
Sedki Sobhi
Egypt's defence minister Sedki Sobhi heading to Spain on Tuesday ahead of military talks (Photo: Courtesy of Military spokesperson Mohamed Samir)
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Egypt’s Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi left on Tuesday to the Spanish capital Madrid heading a military delegation for an official visit following an invitation by the Spanish Defence Minister Pedro de Morenés, state owned agency MENA reported.

Both ministers are expected to conduct talks about increased military and security cooperation between the countries’ armed forces, in addition to efforts to combat terrorism and restore security and stability in the Middle East.

In May this year, Sobhi and his Spanish counterpart Pedro de Morenés signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation.

The memorandum included agreements on the exchange of experience and joint training between both countries.

Since President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was sworn into office in 2014, Egypt has adopted a policy of diversifying its sources of armaments and increased its military cooperation with several states beyond the US - which has been the country's main source of weaponry for close to four decades.

Last week, Egypt signed a deal with France to buy two Mistral warships. In February, France provided Egypt with three Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighters, the first of 24 warplanes sold in a 5.2 billion euro ($5.6 billion) deal.

Last month, Egypt’s Army Chief of Staff chief  Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy visited with top British officials in the UK to discuss military cooperation.

This year the British government has, according to media reports in July, increased its supply of arms to Egypt after reducing them temporarily following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

In July, the US delivered eight F-16 airplanes to Cairo, with four more expected to be delivered in autumn. It also delivered five M1A1 Abrams tank turrets to Egypt in August. Both deliveries are part of the $1.3 billion in military aid that the US provides Egypt annually.  

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