Egypt-UAE cooperation reaching 'new dimension': Army spokesman

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Mar 2014

Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrives in the UAE to attend joint military exercises with the Gulf emirate

El Sis with Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (R) and Egypt's army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (2nd R) review the honor guard upon Sisi's arrival to Abu Dhabi March 11, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt is taking its cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a "new dimension," army spokesperson Ahmed Ali has said.

The countries are undertaking joint military training exercises in the Gulf emirate.

Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in the UAE on Tuesday, where he met his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

El-Sisi's visit is for "purely military reasons," Ali said in comments reported by Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have given strong economic and political support to Egypt, especially since Mohamed Morsi's ouster, Ali said.

The UAE, a staunch opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, has provided Egypt with almost $7 billion in grants, loans and oil shipments.

On Sunday, the Egyptian military announced a joint plan with UAE construction company Arabtec for a $40 billion project to build one million housing units in Egypt.

The announcement was accompanied by photos of El-Sisi discussing the project with Arabtec's managing director Hassan Abdullah Smeik.

El-Sisi, a popular figure for many Egyptians, is widely expected to announce his candidacy in presidential elections due to take place this spring.

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