Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)
Amr Moussa, an Egyptian politician, confirmed that Egyptian army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi will soon announce his candidacy for president and said that relations with Russia “cannot replace” those with the US.
Moussa, a former foreign minister and secretary-general of the Arab League who is mentioned as a possible senior official in a Sisi administration, said in an interview in this past weekend’s edition of Al-Ahram Weekly that the transition process is taking “too much time,” but that he thinks “things will fall into place in the next few days.”
Asked if there is a possibility that Sisi would not run, Moussa responded, “I don’t think there is any possibility he will change his mind.”
Moussa said that he believes Sisi will be a successful president.
Regarding relations with the US and growing connections with Russia, Moussa tried to portray a balanced foreign policy that does not seek to break off relations with the US.
Egypt completed a $2 billion arms deal with Russia, financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, an Egyptian newspaper reported last month.
Egypt’s moves to improve relations with Russia are seen as a way to counter the threat of US pressure. The US partial aid and weapons freeze was largely seen to be a punishment for the military coup and crackdown on former president Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.
“The US is the superpower and we should not unnecessarily be in confrontation with it,” Moussa told the Egyptian newspaper adding that “relations with Russia cannot replace our relations with the US. Russia is a powerful country and there is nothing wrong with having good relations with both Moscow and Washington.”
“We have to have relations with Russia but they cannot jeopardize our relations with the US or vice versa.
We shouldn’t steer our policy towards confronting the US but at the same time we have to defend ourselves against any encroachment on our rights and interests,” he said.
Discussing Sisi’s qualities, Moussa said that he is wise and composed, listening to all views.
Meanwhile, the Sisi campaign moved into full gear, promising 1 million new housing units over the next five years for the poor, the Egyptian army spokesman Ahmed Ali said on Sunday.
The project is being facilitated by Arabtec, a construction company from the United Arab Emirates, Ahram Online reported.
The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, is a strong backer of the new government and a strong opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood.