President’s office: Morsy warmly welcomed in Russia

Amid wide criticism over President Mohamed Morsy’s recent visit to Russia, the presidential spokesperson said the visit was for official business, and the fact that it took place at Sochi resort reflects the special relationship between the two countries.

Presidential spokesperson Omar Amer told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “it’s not necessary that President Morsy’s reception takes place in the Kremlin in Moscow.”

Some public figures had raised concerns over Morsy’s visit to Russia, where he met with a low-profile official rather than his counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Amer stressed that the Russian president receives presidents and leaders with whom he has a special relationship, and said this is not the first such meeting between Egyptian and Russian officials, as they previously met on the sidelines of a summit in South Africa last month.

During his visit, Morsy requested a US$2 billion loan from Russia, but Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Hatem Saleh said Friday that no agreement has been reached on such a loan.

Amr Abdel Hamid, a prominent former BBC correspondent in Russia, wrote on Twitter that major Russian media outlets had not expressed interest in covering Morsy’s visit.

Samy Amara, a notable journalist and former Al-Ahram correspondent in Russia, said the visit wasn’t official.

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