As if Vladimir Putin needs more guns.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gifted the Russian president an AK-47 rifle as the stoic leader landed in Cairo for his first visit to the country in more than a decade.
El-Sissi looked on and smiled as Putin opened the cushioned gun case and hefted the assault weapon during his two-day visit to the Middle Eastern nation.
The two countries last year signed a deal for some $3.5 billion worth of weapons, including air-defense systems, artillery and smaller arms, Bloomberg News reported.
The AK-47 — Automatic Kalashnikov — is symbolic to Russia as the easy-to-use, low-cost weapon was made standard issue in the Soviet Army in 1949. The sturdy weapon’s Russian inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, died in 2013 at age 94.
Putin’s largely symbolic visit is meant to strengthen trade and military agreements between the two nations. The Egyptian capital prepared for his visit by lining the streets with flags bearing photos of a smirking Putin. And the state-run Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram, ran a profile of the Russian strongman posing shirtless and holding various below the headline, “A hero of our times.”
The two leaders planned to pal around at the Cairo Opera House, where the symphony planned to play snippets of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”
SOURCE: SASHA GOLDSTEIN
New York Daily News