(CAIRO) -- The interim government in Egypt seems to be preparing for life after its strong alliance with the U.S. With the White House cutting back on some financial assistance to Egypt in the wake of President Mohamed Morsi's removal from power last July, Cairo invited a top Russian government official for talks Thursday on improving its military ties with Moscow as well as dealing with the ongoing Syrian conflict.
Although an Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said his country was "not replacing one party with another," it was the first time since the 1970s that a Russian defense minister has been involved in such high-level talks with Egypt.
During that period, President Anwar Sadat was attempting to curry favor with the West by beginning to break his country's long standing ties with Moscow.
As if to further rub it in, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, the country's de facto leader, said the meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu would usher in “a new era of constructive, fruitful cooperation on the military level."
Meanwhile, Russian war ships are currently conducting joint naval maneuvers with Egyptian vessels for the first time in decades.
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