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Russia, Egypt in Talks to Sign Airbase Deal

Russia is negotiating an agreement with Egypt that would allow either country to access the other's airspace and air bases.

Moscow has been increasing its military cooperation with Cairo since Egypt's 2013 military coup. The two countries reportedly held joint military exercises for the first time in October 2016.

A government decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday instructs the Defense Ministry to sign the airbase deal when the sides complete talks. The agreement would last for 5 years and could be extended.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to the Egyptian capital on Wednesday to conduct the negotiations.

The draft agreement was published several months after U.S. officials reportedly spotted Russian special forces deployed at two Egyptian airbases near the border with Libya.

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