Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has praised Egypt as an “example of stability” in the Middle East thanks to its close ties with the Gulf countries, and reiterated his support for Egypt’s efforts to fight militants in the Sinai Peninsula.
Talks kicked off on Monday in Moscow between the defence and foreign ministers of both countries, signaling a deepening relationship between the two countries.
Egypt and Russia have moved closer together since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi assumed office in 2014. Exports to Russia have risen, as have arms sales from Moscow to Cairo and strategic cooperation between the countries’ militaries.
Shoigu’s comments come less than a month after Human Rights Watch published a report detailing Egypt’s operation against Daesh affiliated groups in the province. Many of its tactics and methods amount to war crimes.
Egyptian authorities have sought to justify the systematic and widespread arbitrary arrests, the enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions under the pretext that they are fighting terrorism.
Both countries are said to support Commander Khalifa Haftar in Libya, who is bombarding the internationally recognised government in Triploli.
During his trip to Russia Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri told Russia Today that Egypt and Russia are working together to achieve stability in the Gulf and on Syria.
Both countries have called for the preservation of the Syria’s national army and eliminating terrorist organisations. In October 2017 jointly brokered a ceasefire in southern Damascus, which gave Egypt a foothold in the country.
The Syrian regime has killed thousands of civilians since the start of the war, and often justifies these death as a legitimate fight against terror.