Egypt's Sissi Turns to Russia's Putin to Fight Regional Terrorism

In second Moscow visit in three months, the two leaders will also discuss joint project to build Egypt's first nuclear power station.

AP

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, making his second visit to Moscow in three months, says he hopes for Russia's help in combating terrorism in the region.

Al-Sissi's visit highlights Moscow's attempts to expand its influence in Egypt at a time when Egyptian-U.S. relations have soured in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Opening the talks in the Kremlin on Wednesday, Sissi said "the Egyptian people" are hoping for broader ties with Russia in all areas, particularly in fighting terrorism in the Middle East.

Putin and Sissi are also expected to hammer out the details of a joint project to build Egypt's first nuclear power station.

Middle East role

Moscow has hosted a number of Middle Eastern leaders in recent weeks as it seeks a greater role in mediating in the Middle East, especially concerning the Syrian civil war and efforts to combat Islamic State militants, which have taken considerable territory in war-torn Syria and Iraq over the past year.

Jordan's King Abdullah II told Putin in Moscow Tuesday, "We have to find a solution in Syria. Your role and the role of your country in uniting all the opposing sides at the negotiation table for a peaceful solution are critical," according to a statement released by the Kremlin.

Putin on Tuesday also discussed the Syrian conflict with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, state media reported.

This month, the foreign ministers of Russia and Iran told reporters in Moscow that Assad should remain in power even if there is a transition period to allow members of the political opposition into Syria's leadership.

Those comments came in stark contrast to a statement by the Saudi foreign minister after similar talks days earlier in Moscow in which he said he does "not see a place for Assad in Syria's future."