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Egypt, Russia to hold first joint military drills
October 13, 2016, 9:52 am

The drills will be the first of their kind for both Egypt and Russia [Xinhua]

The drills will be the first of their kind for both Egypt and Russia [Xinhua]

An Egyptian Military spokesman announced on Wednesday that Egypt will be hosting Russian paratroopers who will participate in a nine-day joint military exercise along the Mediterranean coast this month.

The exercise, called Protectors of Friendship 2016, is the first its kind between the two countries and will focus on deployment of troops, equipment and vehicles, and the exchange of experiences between special forces, Egyptian state media reported.

It will take place in the coastal city of Al-Alamein, the site of a historic battle between British and German forces during the Second World War.

The drills come as a statement from the Egyptian Presidency staunchly denied rumors that Moscow and Cairo were in talks over a deal to establish a Russian airbase in western Egypt.

The statement came in response to reports from Russian daily Izvestia that the two countries had agreed to a Russian base to become operational as early as 2019.

“The negotiations over possible participation of Russia in rebuilding of Egyptian military sites on the Mediterranean coast near Sidi Barrani are quite successful,” Izvestia reported earlier this week citing an unnamed source.

Sidi Barrani, also the site of a crucial battle between the British and Germans in 1940, is around 300km west of Al-Alamein, near the Libyan border.

“If both parties agree to the terms, as soon as 2019 the base may become operational. Cairo is ready to lease it to Moscow because it would use it to pursue high-priority geopolitical goals, which align with Egypt’s interests.”

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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