Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak Thursday, saying that Egypt should be encouraged to play a bigger role in Middle East peacemaking and voicing hope for the development of bilateral economic ties.
Mubarak said after the talks that Cairo hoped to bolster trade ties with Moscow and cooperate more closely in nuclear, space and other high-tech sectors, while Russian officials said they would bid to build nuclear power plants in Egypt.
"I feel a strong connection between us," Mubarak said when he and Putin sat down for talks in the Kremlin on Thursday.
Putin also hailed Mubarak as an "old friend."
"Egypt is our traditional and very close partner and our relations have been developing successfully," Putin said.