Egypt's interim President Mansour with Russia’s FM Lavrov..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In one of my encounters with the Soviet military attaché in Paris in the late
1980s, I was asked how many staff members were assigned to me at the Israeli
Embassy. I answered that I was the only officer, and was assisted by two
secretaries. I asked my Soviet counterpart how many people he had working with
him, and he said “16.”I was shocked at the high number. “What are you
doing with so many officers and staff?” I asked. I remember his answer as if it
was yesterday: “We are still waiting for better times!” This episode can easily
apply to Egyptian-Russian relations as they emerge today. It seems indeed that
“better times” is the proper way to describe the latest developments in
Russian-Egyptian relations, after almost 30 years of strained, always
problematic, and sometimes hostile relations.
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