Russia, Egypt to discus MiG-35 fighter jets deal in October: Agency

Ahram Online, Monday 29 Sep 2014

Deal with Russia comes amid speculation that Egypt may be reducing its military cooperation with the United States

File Photo: A MiG-35 jet performs a low pass during the MAKS-2009 international air show in Zhukovsky, Russia on August 21, 2009 (Photo: Reuters)

Russia plans to hold talks in Egypt next month over the latter’s planned purchase of MiG-35 fighter jets, reported Russian news agency ITAR-TASS on Monday.

“They [Egyptian representatives] visited our corporation. We hope that we will be invited to technical talks next month,” Director-General of Russia’s Aircraft Corporation MiG Sergei Korotkov said.

The deal, which is reportedly worth LE21 billion ($3 billion), was reported in February amid suggestions Egypt is aiming to reduce its military cooperation with the US, whose ties with the North African country took a turn after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year.

In an interview during the last presidential election, however, Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, stressed that Egypt has always had strong ties with Russia and that this does not affect cooperation with the US.

Since signing a peace treaty with Israel in 1970, Egypt has been receiving some LE9.1 billion ($1.3 billion) in annual US military aid. Egypt had strong ties with Russia in the 1950s and 1960s, as the Soviet Union was the main supplier of arms to Egypt until the early 1970s.

After Morsi's ouster, the United States held the delivery of Apache helicopters but decided to lift its ban in April. The attack aircrafts are yet to be delivered, with El-Sisi calling on the US to send them in a recent televised interview with American station, CBS.

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