Putin will find Egypt’s strongman, Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, in full cry with his next steps against the Muslim Brotherhood, after unseating its president in a coup on July 3.
El-Sisi is holding urgent discussions with the heads of the judiciary to have the movement outlawed. The unwritten pact between the generals and judicial system is the most potent political force in Egypt today, which the Brotherhood will find hard to beat.
The army’s first action will be to break up the round-the-clock protests which tens of thousands of supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi have been staging in Cairo for the past month for his release and reinstatement.
Wednesday, July 31, their sit-in was ruled a threat to national security. For the next step, soldiers of the Republican Guard division, whose normal duties are guarding the president, have been issued with police uniforms for a more acceptable appearance when they clear protesters off the streets of the capital any day now.
The prospect of a Russian presidential visit has fired Gen. El-Sisi with redoubled energy and impetus for his crackdown on the Brotherhood.