Egyptian and Russian naval forces will today conclude the Friendship Bridge joint military exercises in Russian waters in the Black Sea.
Commencing last Thursday, the drills were organised to build bilateral military ties between the two countries. The exercises emphasised the protection of sea routes and included practice manoeuvres of rocket and artillery fire.
Friendship Bridge comes just days after Egypt held joint exercises with the UK as part of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s ongoing military restructuring, which he set in motion five years ago. Deteriorating relations between Turkey and Egypt has prompted Egypt to redirect its strategic focus to strengthening and diversifying its military cooperation with regional and international partners.
In the short-term, expect Egypt to continue to enhance its naval capabilities and deepen relations with military partners as it looks to diversify its military activities and secure its strategic interests both within and beyond the region. More bilateral and joint military coordination exercises are anticipated with Cairo already kicking off a six-nation joint military exercise called “Sword of Arabs” aimed at boosting military ties between Egypt and other Arab countries.
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Sulagna is a Research Analyst in the Current Developments team. She has a background in computer science and international relations and specialises in cybersecurity, political theory and security studies. Sulagna's writing focuses on foreign policy and national security issues, particularly in the realm of technology.