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Photo: AFP
Field Marshal al-Sisi
Photo: AFP
Egypt military chief heads to Moscow in rare visit
Russian Arabic-language news channel says the two nations will sign a major arms deal during the visit, which begins Wednesday.

CAIRO - Egypt's military chief is heading to Moscow in a rare visit to the Russian capital by the Arab nation's top commander -- and the first since the popularly-backed coup that ousted the country's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last summer.

 

 

Military spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali says army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is also the defense minister, is accompanied on the trip, which starts Wednesday, by Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.

 

Ali says the trip follows the "historic" visit by a top-level Russian delegation in November.

 

Meanwhile, a Russian Arabic-language news channel reported Wednesday that the two nations will sign a major arms deal during the visit. 

 

Moscow is trying to expand its influence in Egypt, a key US ally in the Middle East, at a time when US-Egyptian relations have soured after the military's ouster of Morsi last July.

 

 

Al-Sisi is widely expected to announce he will run for president in elections that are likely due in late April.

 

Roi Kais contributed to this report

 

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