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Russia, Egypt to hold military exercises in Egypt

Russia and Egypt have agreed to hold military exercises later this month, the Russian defence ministry confirmed yesterday.

The exercises, named "Protectors of Friendship-2016", are described as "anti-terrorist" and will involve 500 troops, 15 planes and helicopters and 10 military hardware units, the ministry confirmed.

"The joint Russian-Egyptian drills will happen in mid-October 2016 on the territory of Egypt," the ministry said, without confirming a start date.

Naval exercises took place between Russia and Egypt for the first time last year which included the Black Sea fleet's flagship Moskva missile cruiser.

The Egyptian Presidency, however, refuted press reports claiming that Russia and Egypt are close to reaching an agreement for the establishment of a Russian military base in Egypt.

Alaa Youssef, spokesperson of the Egyptian Presidency, said there were no plans to allow a foreign country to have a military base on Egyptian soil. Welcoming foreign military bases in the country is against the government's principles, a military source added.

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