Egypt Announces Expanded Cooperation with Russia

Egyptian FM says his state expanding cooperation with Russia following cooling of relations with the US.

Ari Yashar ,

Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy
Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy

On Saturday Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said his country will expand cooperation with Russia following a cooling of relations with the US that has stretched on since former President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in July.

Reports indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Egypt later this month where he is expected to announce a $15 billion arms deal between the two nations partially funded by Saudi Arabia, which likewise is experiencing a crisis in its relations with the US.

Fahmy said Egypt is beginning a "new phase" as ties with America weaken. He stated, according to Al Arabiya, that "independence is having choices. So the objective of this foreign policy is to provide Egypt with choices, more choices. So I'm not going to substitute. I'm going to add."

The statement comes despite Secretary of State John Kerry's pledges of friendship during his visit to Cairo last week in an attempt to patch ties. In early October the US froze part of its $1.5 billion annual military aid to Egypt following the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some anticipate that this "new phase" in Egypt signals a shift of regional powers. Last Friday the US started removing its navy from the region less than a week after Russia brought its most powerful nuclear-powered battleship into the Mediterranean.