(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday threw his weight behind a presidential bid by Egyptian Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, voicing hope that ties would strengthen after the election.
Russia is looking to take advantage of strains between Cairo and Washington, which has withheld some of its annual aid to Egypt after Sisi ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi last year.
Sisi, 59, has been urged to run by members of the public who reject the Islamist government he toppled, and by members of the armed forces who want a president who can face down growing political violence. Earlier this month, a Kuwaiti newspaper quoted him as saying he would run in an election expected to be held in April.
(Thomas Grove et al., Reuters, Feb 13, 2014) Read Original