Will Russia 'liberate' Egypt 'from American stupidity'?

Image caption Future Egypt-Russia handshakes may look less awkward

When the United States announced that it was withholding hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid from Egypt earlier this year, some worried that it would strain previously close US-Egyptian relations. Now, like an ex who finds out an old flame is single again, Russia is coming around to say hello.

Today, a Russian Navy cruiser pulls into the port of Alexandria, and a high-level delegation that includes Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives to discuss bilateral relations and a possible arms deal that could replace some of the American military support. It has the entire region thinking about what a diminished American presence could mean.

"At last, Egypt will be somewhat liberated from American stupidity," writes RuJamal Zaydah in Egypt's Al-Ahram. "We want Egypt to embark on the same journey as that of China, India and some Latin American countries, which have progressed economically until they gained an excellent standing on the international arena. This is why the visit to Cairo today [13 November] by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is important."

In Lebanon's Al-Nahar, Rajih al-Khuri writes that Russia "will break this [arms] monopoly again in response to America's silly and humiliating decision to suspend aid to Egypt following the downfall of the [Muslim] Brothers."

"Actual US policy is gradually withdrawing from the region," editorializes the Saudi Al-Watan, "and this is why there is the need to create alternative strategic axes to protect the interests of Arab countries."

If the meetings are considered a success, it could pave the way for an Egyptian trip by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming months. No reports on whether he will bring flowers, chocolate and a mix tape of songs they used to listen to.

(From reports provided by BBC Monitoring)