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Egypt, Russia to Hold Joint Military Exercises in Mid-October

FILE - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) is photographed with students and Air Force Academy graduates at the Air Force Academy in Cairo, Egypt, July 20, 2016.

Egypt's armed forces will hold joint military exercises with their Russian counterparts on Egyptian soil for the first time from Oct. 15-26, Cairo's military spokesman said Wednesday.

Days ago, Egypt backed a Russian resolution in the U.N. Security Council on Syria that removed the demand for an end to airstrikes on Aleppo stipulated in an alternative French resolution.

Both resolutions failed to pass but Egypt's support for the Russian measure put the North African country at odds with its key financial backer, Saudi Arabia, which has opposed Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The joint military training will include drills between Egyptian and Russian paratrooper units in the northwestern region of el-Alamein, Egyptian military spokesman Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said in a statement posted on the Egyptian military's official Facebook page.

Russia's Izvestia newspaper said Moscow was in talks to open an air base in Egypt, though Egypt's official Al Ahram newspaper quoted the presidential spokesman Tuesday saying it would not allow foreign bases on its land.

Egypt is negotiating with Russia to restore flights to its Red Sea resorts, a year after the bombing of a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers back to St Petersburg.

Egypt is keen to restore tourism, a key earner of hard currency, which has been in decline since the 2011 uprising ushered in a period of political instability.