NewsNorth AfricaEgypt: Military may turn to Russia for aid and alliance


Posted on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 15:01

Egypt: Military may turn to Russia for aid and alliance

Egypt’s military is the largest in the Arab world and has worked closely with Washington for decades. Photo©ReutersEgypt has threatened to go it alone on foreign policy issues effectively disregarding its tradition allies - the United States or Israel – after Washington cut military aid.

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told state-run Al-Ahram newspaper that Washington was wrong to assume the Cairo government would always follow its line.


"We are now in a delicate state reflecting the turmoil in the relationship and anyone who says otherwise is not speaking honestly," Fahmy told the paper.

Fahmy has suggested that Egypt could turn to Russia for military aid to manage its "civil war against terrorism."

The United States now faces a policy headache trying to promote democracy while sustaining ties with Egypt- an Arab ally which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the strategic Suez Canal.

The military-backed government has insisted Egypt would not bow to U.S. pressure, and plans to diversify its source of weapons, including a possible turn to Russia.

Egypt has long been the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel.

U.S. military aid to Cairo, was about $1.3 billion a year, and was born out of a 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

The U.S. recently cut aid to Egypt because Washington was not happy with Egypt's path since the army deposed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3.

But while Washington has insisted it was cutting off all aid but would continue military support for counterterrorism and security efforts in the Sinai, bordering Israel, an extended period of instability in ties would "reflect negatively on the entire region, including American interests".

Egypt's military - the largest in the Arab world - has worked closely with Washington for decades but since the ouster of Morsi, the military hasbeen vigorously against pro-Mosri supporters, killing hundreds and arresting thousands.

The army-backed government calls the Brotherhood terrorists on the one hand, while Muslim Brotherhood leaders say they face more severe repression under the military than they did under former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

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