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Putin Backs Egypt Military Chief's Bid For Presidency

Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (left) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin as Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy looks on at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on February 13.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he supports Egyptian Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's "decision" to run for president.

Sisi had been expected to announce his candidacy but has not publicy done so.

Putin, who met with Sisi in Moscow on February 13, wished Sisi luck "from the Russian people."

Sisi was behind July's ouster of democratically elected, Islamist-backed President Muhammad Morsi, who remains imprisoned.

A new Egyptian presidential election is due next year.

Sisi’s visit to Russia was expected to include talks on Russian arms supplies to Egypt, and some reports said a $2 billion deal was being discussed.

Sisi said he hoped Egypt and Russia would accelerate work on military-technical cooperation.

The United States, Egypt’s main military supplier, suspended some military aid after Morsi was removed from office.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax