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    Putin in quick trip to Egypt, Syria
    December 11, 2017, 4:50 pm

    Putin, left, last visited Egypt and met with El-Sisi in February 2015 [Xinhua]

    Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the strategic ties with Egypt during his one day trip to Cairo.

    He arrived in Cairo for a scheduled visit and left a few hours later.

    He had made a surprise visit to Syria earlier in the day, where he also met with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad at a Russian air force base there.

    During a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Monday, Putin said that the two countries were cooperating on a number of bilateral and regional initiatives reinforced by their historic ties.

    He said that Russia was enthusiastic about its involvement in building a $21-billion nuclear power reactor in the Dabaa region in Egypt.

    El-Sisi said his country was about to embark on construction of a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal region of the county.

    The two leaders also spoke about their joint efforts to ensure the success of deescalation zones in Syria.

    “Russian air power has helped to ensure that the Islamic State and other extremist elements have been nearly eradicated in Syria,” Putin told reporters.

    With that, he said he had ordered Russian forces to begin leaving Syria.

    The two leaders also expressed their criticism of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move condemned by the international community.

    “There needs to be a long-term and fair solution that fulfills the interests of both sides, and complies with previous stances of the international community,” Putin told reporters during the press conference at the Ithadiyah Presidential Palace in Cairo.

    Meanwhile, Putin also said that he was looking forward to signing a security protocol with Egypt – expected later this week – regarding security at its airports.

    Russian travel agencies have been prohibited from working with their Egyptian counterparts and tourists have been absent since a Russian airliner carrying 224 crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula after a bomb exploded killing all on board in 2015.

    The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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