Putin backs Egypt's military chief presidency bid

MOSCOW - Russia's President Vladimir Putin has said he backs Egypt's military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in his "bid for the presidency".

Mr Putin, meeting Field Marshal Sisi in Moscow to discuss an arms deal, said he was "aware" of his decision to run.

However, there has been no announcement on the matter from the Egyptian side.

The field marshal led the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi last July, and the new constitution calls for an election by mid-April.

Correspondents say Field Marshal Sisi would be likely to win, given his popularity and the lack of any serious rivals.

Mr Putin said: "I know that you, mister defence minister, have decided to run for president of Egypt.

"I wish you luck both from myself personally and from the Russian people."

Field Marshal Sisi is in Russia to negotiate a $2bn arms deal, after the United States suspended some of its annual military assistance in response to Mr Morsi's removal.

Field Marshal Sisi said: "Our visit offers a new start to the development of military and technological co-operation between Egypt and Russia. We hope to speed up this co-operation."

No details have been released about the military discussions, although Russian media pointed to Egyptian interest in acquiring air defence missiles, MiG-29 jets and helicopters, among other weapons.

Two weeks ago Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) gave its public support to any presidential bid by Field Marshal Sisi.

Comments (1)

They are all DICTATORS

Mukanya - 21 February 2014

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