Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Egypt's Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mihail Metzel/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday endorsed Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's undeclared bid to head the strife-torn North African nation as the two leaders negotiated a massive Moscow weapons deal.Putin told Sisi that he fully backed Egypt's new constitution and crucially made no mention of Cairo's crackdown on protests or the army-backed overthrow in July of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.Sisi and Fahmy had earlier on Thursday met their Russian counterparts to negotiate a $2-billion arms deal the two sides initially discussed in Cairo in November -- a month after Washington suspended millions of dollars in assistance to the Egyptian army over Morsi's ouster.Russia is now keen to revive those ties and Shoigu made clear on Thursday that Moscow fully supported the tough measures taken by Sisi against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
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