German wrap-up of Putin’s flying diplomacy; Russian flights to Egypt will resume. Egypt will get 4 Russian reactorsAbd al-Fattah as-Sisi

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December 12, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

–, translated by Tom Winter –

President Putin with Egyptian president Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi

Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a visit to Cairo to resume direct flights between Russia and Egypt. This is reported by Handelsblatt. After the bomb attack on a Russian vacation plane over Egypt two years ago, the direct connections had been suspended.

Shortly after a meeting with the Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad at the Hmeimim Air Force base, Vladimir Putin traveled to Cairo to speak with his Egyptian counterpart Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi. The Russian President has announced his intention to resume direct flights between Russia and Egypt. Both governments should draft a corresponding protocol.

“The security services have assured me that we are ready to commence direct flights between Moscow and Cairo,” Putin said during a press conference. According to Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov resumption is possible starting in February. In addition, both heads of state signed a contract for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Egypt, reports A corresponding memorandum exists since autumn 2015. According to media reports, the nuclear power plant could go online in 2024.

Four reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will be built in the Dabaa region in the north of the country. For financing, the Kremlin grants a 35-year loan. The cost is about 30 billion US dollars. Since the 1970s, Cairo has been operating a civilian nuclear program. Under the then ruler Husni Mubarak, Dabaa was considered a suitable location. However, the plans had been shelved after the Chernobyl disaster.

First visit since bomb attack

It was Putin’s first visit since the attack on a Russian plane over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015. According to authorities, the crash of the passenger plane that was on its way to St. Petersburg killed all 224 on board. The Egyptian offshoot of the terrorist militia (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack. In response Moscow put a stop to all direct flights to the popular holiday country.

Al-Sisi and Putin also talked about the tense situation in the Middle East conflict. The announcement of US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel must be met with prudence. Putin called Palestine and Israel to dialogue.

Putin visited Erdoğan in Ankara

On the same day Putin visited his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara. There he criticized the decision of the US government about Jerusalem. The move “destabilizes an already difficult situation in the region,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes the Russian president. According to the Turkish head of state, the US decision on the side of Israel is an excuse to “exert pressure and violence” on Palestine.

In addition, Putin and Erdoğan discussed future dealings with Syria. The Russian head of state wants to organize a “Congress of the Peoples of Syria” at the beginning of 2018. “It is planned that the participants for Syria will address important issues such as the foundations of the future state structure, a constitution and elections under UN supervision,” the Interfax news agency quoted him. Details should be discussed in December in the Kazakh capital Astana. Iran will be involved in addition to Russia and Turkey.

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