Egyptian president heads to Russia for visit

Updated: 2013-04-19 10:12


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CAIRO - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi left Cairo on Thursday afternoon for a two-day visit in Russia, during which he would meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, state-run news agency MENA reported.

Accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation, Morsi is expected to hold a mini-summit with Putin to promote bilateral ties, particularly trade relations, and to attract Russian investments to Egypt in the fields of energy, transport and engineering.

Morsi and Putin will also discuss the Syrian crisis, the Middle East peace process and the efforts to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.  

Egypt and Russia hold different positions on the Syrian issue, as Putin is a powerful ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Morsi has repeatedly called on Assad to step down.

It is Morsi's first visit to Russia since he came into power in late June 2012. The two leaders first met on March 27 in the BRICS summit in South Africa.