UPDATE - Egypt, Russia sign cooperation agreements

CAIRO (AA) – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Tuesday that his country had signed several agreements with Russia for stepped-up cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and security.

At a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, al-Sisi said the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding to build a nuclear reactor for power generation in Egypt's northwestern Al-Dabaa region.

Agreements were also signed for Egypt to import Russian natural gas and for the establishment of a free trade zone in Egypt's eastern Ataqa region.

The two sides also agreed to step up security cooperation with a view to combatting "terrorism."

Al-Sisi also said that Egypt supported a political solution – in line with the Geneva Conventions – to the ongoing crisis in Syria, and that Putin had stressed the importance of maintaining the unity of crisis-hit states such as Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Putin arrived in Cairo on Monday for a two-day visit to Egypt – the Russian president's first trip to the Arab country in a decade.

Egypt and Russia appear to have drawn closer since President Mohamed Morsi – Egypt's first freely elected leader – was ousted by the army in mid-2013.


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