Egypt hosts international arms expo

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An Egyptian honor guard soldier stands in front of a poster advertising the first arms fair organized in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the fair, where hundreds of companies are participating. (AP)
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Members of an Army band wear Pharaonic costumes during the opening of the first arms fair organized in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP)
Updated 03 December 2018

Egypt hosts international arms expo

  • The three-day Egypt Defense Expo that opened Monday features the world’s top arms companies
  • The United States, Egypt’s largest arms supplier, had over 40 companies present, alongside major firms from Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia

CAIRO: Egypt opened its first international weapons fair on Monday, an event that organizers hope will project a message to the world that the country is secure and stable.
The three-day Egypt Defence Expo features the world's top arms companies and hundreds of military and civilian participants from dozens of countries.
The United States, Egypt's largest arms supplier, had over 40 companies present, alongside major firms from Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia, China, India and Gulf monarchies.
"We are seeing a shift in paradigm away from some of the heavy machinery that characterize our assistance in past years toward a more nimble kind of approach to countering terrorism," US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Dorothy Shea said.
"We are trying to share our hard-won lessons from the battlefield and help our Egyptian colleagues take advantage of that and make sure that their acquisitions of equipment are appropriate and really benefit them to the maximum."
Organizers have not specified sales targets or expectations, but say agreements will be signed and announced at the fair, held in a massive expo center where marching bands and thousands of pieces of military equipment were on display.
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who opened the event, led the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president. Egypt is currently battling a Daesh-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, and many of its vehicles and hardware on display have been battle tested there.
"Defense and armament are a pillar of peace," Defense Minister Gen. Mohammed Zaki said in opening remarks. "Peace must be protected by power that secures."
An upbeat video shown to participants at the opening ceremony highlighted the army's leading role in Egyptian society, blending scenes of Red Sea tourism and pharaonic temples with troops and equipment on the move. Zaki said the military only acquires power to protect and guarantee the country's safety and unity.


Turkey’s Erdogan to visit Moscow after convoy hit in Syria

Updated 48 min 32 sec ago

Turkey’s Erdogan to visit Moscow after convoy hit in Syria

  • The surprise visit comes as the forces of President Bashar Assad made advances into the last rebel stronghold of Idlib in Syria’s northwest
  • The talks, on Tuesday, will take place during the Maks international air show – about 40 kilometers from Moscow

ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Moscow on Tuesday for a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the presidency said in a statement, days after a Turkish convoy was hit by an air strike in Syria.
The surprise visit comes as the forces of President Bashar Assad made advances into the last rebel stronghold of Idlib in Syria’s northwest and upped the stakes with Turkey in its months-long offensive backed by Russia.
Erdogan will pay a one-day visit to Moscow, the presidency said, without giving further details.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the Putin-Erdogan meeting on August 27 to the Russian agencies.
He told the Interfax news agency that the talks would take place during the Maks international air show – about 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Moscow.
Turkey is a vocal opponent of Assad in Damascus and instead backs rebels fighting for his ouster.
But Ankara last year struck a deal with Moscow to protect the Idlib province from a massive government offensive.
Turkish officials on Monday “strongly” condemned an air strike on its military convoy heading through Idlib province, saying it was a violation of agreements with Syria.
Ankara blamed “regime forces” for the attack which it said killed three civilians, and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack was carried out by Syrian and Russian air forces, and was aimed at hindering the convoy’s advance through Idlib province.
The announcement of the visit also comes shortly after Erdogan and Putin on Friday agreed to “activate mutual efforts” to ease the situation in Idlib, according to the Kremlin.
“They agreed to activate mutual efforts with the goal of liquidating the terrorist threat coming from this region,” during a phone call initiated by Erdogan, it said.
According to the Turkish presidency, Erdogan told the Russian leader regime forces’ attacks in Idlib “very seriously” threatened Turkey’s national security and led to “a grave humanitarian crisis.”
“These attacks damage the efforts to regulate the Syrian conflict,” it said.
Erdogan is set to host Putin and Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, for a summit on Syria in Ankara on September 16.
Iran and Russia are allies of Assad, but work closely with Turkey for a political solution to the conflict.
Since late April, Syria and Russia have upped their bombardment of the extremist-ruled Idlib region of some three million people, killing around 900 civilians.
Idlib sits on the Turkish border.
One of Turkey’s 12 observation posts set up along the front line between government forces and the extremists and their rebel allies last year were surrounded by Syrian troops this week.
That drew Turkey’s wrath, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying that Turkish troops would not leave the observation post.