Putin backs Egypt's army chief to win presidency
13 February 2014, 13:42
Moscow - Russia's President Vladimir Putin is wishing Egypt's military chief victory in the nation's presidential vote.
Putin said at the start of his meeting with Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that he's aware of his decision to run for president, according to Russian news reports. Putin said he wishes him victory.
El-Sissi, who rose to prominence after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July, is popular among a large segment of Egyptians and is widely expected to announce a candidacy for presidential elections that are likely due in late April.
El-Sissi's visit to Moscow, his first trip abroad since Morsi's ouster, comes amid reports of a $2 billion arms deal with Russia to be funded mainly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is part of Egypt's shift to reduce reliance on the United States.