A popular delegation travelled to Russia on Thursday morning for a three-day visit. The delegation is set to meet with senior Russian Foreign Ministry officials as well as members of parliament, according to state news agency MENA.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Badr Abdelatty said it is an “unofficial delegation” but the embassy in Moscow is “providing support to set up appointments” for the delegation. He said the delegation’s visit aims to “convey the voice of the people of Egypt and to express appreciation for the Russian government’s support for the revolution.” The delegation is also expected to look at ways to increase cooperation between Egypt and Russia.
The delegation includes former Deputy Prime Minister Yehia al-Gamal, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Orabi, former Minister of Information Osama Heikal, President of the Farmers Union Mohamed Burgos and deputy editor of MENA Ali Hassan.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy travelled to Moscow in September on an official visit. Fahmy and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov both stressed the importance of the relationship between the two countries. Media reports suggested at the time that Egypt was attempting to steer away from the influence of the United States, something that Fahmy denied when questioned on the subject. He said, “we are heading into many external circles and will develop relations that need assessing.”
Fahmy also met with Secretary General of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev during his visit to Moscow. Fahmy acknowledged that the meeting was not standard practice for a foreign minister saying that the Russian side wanted to expand relations with Egypt to go beyond meetings between the foreign ministers.