Visit by the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Egypt in Feb. 2015 comes at a time where the two sides need to cement their ties and show that they have other alternatives other than the West to achieve their goals.
Putin’s visit to Cairo is the first of its kind since 10 years, carries symbolic significance and aims to send a message to the US and the West that Egypt has some independence in its foreign relations and has several choices, especially in light of the tense relations between Washington and Cairo since the Moslem Brotherhood was removed from office in July 2013.
Russia, on the other hand, faces Western sanctions due to its support for the separates in the Ukraine and economic problems as a result of the decline in oil prices. Putin’s visit to Cairo underscores his efforts to show that the Kremlin still has friends around the world.
The visit may also carry a significance that goes beyond what observers think which has to do with building a new network of regional relations and explore opportunities to improve Egyptian-Iranian relations. During the visit, Tehran has sent messages that show interest in supporting stability in Egypt and condemnation for targeting Egyptian forces in Sinai.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisis faces a number of challenges that require rapprochement with Moscow, notably, economic ones and resumption of Cairo’s ties with world countries.
Egypt also faces challenges at the level of national security such as the Renaissance Dam with Ethiopia and terrorist threats at the Eastern and Western borders.
Image Source: Reuters Pictures
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