Egypt accuses US of interference because of military cooperation with Russia

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CAIRO – An Egyptian MP said the US threatens his country for its intention to deepen military cooperation with Russia, calling it unacceptable interference.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon and the US State Department warned in a joint letter to the Egyptian authorities about the introduction of possible sanctions for the purchase of Russian Su-35 fighters.

“Statements about US sanctions against Egypt for military cooperation with Russia […] go beyond the framework of diplomatic norms […] and we regard them as unacceptable interference in our country’s internal affairs,” said Rep. Yahya al-Kadwani.

Earlier a senior US diplomatic official said in a statement to the media that Washington is holding a dialogue with Egypt so that the Arab country will give up the purchase.

“Egypt is a sovereign country that makes its own decisions on the mechanisms of technical-military cooperation with other countries as necessary to defend their interests,” said Al-Kadwani.

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The legislator noted that Egypt is seeking to diversify its arms supply and is already cooperating with Russia, China, Germany, France and the US.

“Egypt will not submit to US pressure, will not change our policy to please the United States and we have no intention of giving up on strengthening cooperation with Russia in all sectors, including the military,” he said, adding that “Egypt is a large country that acts in its own best interests and does not accept that decisions are imposed on it from abroad.”

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper have warned Egypt that the US could impose sanctions against the Arab country if it pursues its plans to acquire Russian Su-35 fighters .

The Americans urged Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki to give up the purchase on pain of suspending Cairo’s military aid from the United States since 1979 .

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