Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) gives an AK47 rifle as a gift to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) during an informal dinner in honor of Putin at Cairo Tower on February 9, 2015 in Cairo, Egypt. (Pool / MENA - Anadolu Agency)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Egyptian counterpart Tuesday and agreed a deal to build a nuclear plant, as he sought to boost ties on his first visit to Cairo in a decade.Putin is a key non-Arab backer of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who has faced U.S. criticism for his deadly crackdown on opponents since he ousted Islamist leader Mohammad Morsi in July 2013 .Putin also gave a Kalashnikov assault rifle to Sisi as a gift.Sisi visited Russia when he was defense minister soon after ousting Morsi – amid deteriorating relations with Washington – and he followed up with an August 2014 trip as president.Egypt's ties with the U.S. still remain cooler than before Morsi's ousting, with Washington criticizing Sisi for repressing Islamist and secular dissent.
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