Politicians have considered the visit by an Egyptian popular delegation to Russia as an important step in strengthening Egyptian-Russian economic and military relations as well as a pivot away from the United States’ sphere of influence.
They also said the visit demonstrates to the world that Egypt is not dependant on any specific country of the world and does not bow to any external pressure.
“Egypt under Nasser had very strong relations with Russia,” said Tagamu Party Secretary General Magdi Sharabeya. “These relations must be revived.”
He stressed that Egypt must diversify its sources of armaments by cooperating with Russia and China. “We must not only depend on the United States,” he added. “The Americans keep threatening with the aid.”
Margaret Azer, secretary general of the Free Egyptians Party, said the Egypt must use “soft” power to regain its place in the world. “Popular diplomacy brings good results and paves the way for official dialogue between governments,” she said.
“America changed its dealing with Egypt according to its interests, and will continue to do so without doubt, despite its failure,” she said. “America wants a fragmented Middle East suffering from terrorism.”
Ahmed Derag of the National Assembly for Change said Egypt must deal with international powers in terms of equality and not dependency. “Cooperation with Russia or China does not mean that we will cut relations with America,” he said. “We are opening relationships with other countries so as to create a balance in the region and regain our leadership of it.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm