Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated re-elected Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on his win in the country's first presidential elections and expressed hope for deeper bilateral cooperation, the Kremlin said Monday.
In his message, Putin called Mubarak's re-election "good news for Egypt, for the region and the whole world." He said that the elections confirmed the Egyptian leadership's commitment to building a democratic society, and saluted Mubarak's contribution to "achieving a just, all-encompassing and lasting peace in the Middle East."
Putin has sought to strengthen Russia's influence in the Mideast region, which has waned since the 1991 Soviet collapse. He visited Egypt this past spring in the first visit by a Russian or Soviet leader since 1964, reports the AP.