Egypt’s military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has left for an official visit to Russia to discuss bilateral cooperation with the Kremlin, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Sisi and Nabil Fahmy, Egypt’s foreign minister, will hold “2+2” talks with their Russian counterparts on a two-day trip that started on Wednesday, military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said in a statement.
The trip comes “in response to the historic visit of the Russian defence and foreign ministers to Cairo” last November, the army statement said.
Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Cairo for two days in mid-November to discuss weapons sales as well as political and economic ties.
That visit came amid tension between Egypt and its longtime ally the United States, which has suspended some of its military aid to Cairo after Sisi toppled the former president, Mohammed Morsi, in July.
Since Morsi was overthrown, the military-installed government has been waging a deadly crackdown on his supporters that has left more than 1,400 people dead, according to rights group Amnesty International, and thousands of others jailed.
Sisi is expected to stand in upcoming presidential elections.