Egyptian, Russian FM start high-level talks that could signal shift in Cairo's foreign policy

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Russia have opened high-level talks in Cairo in what could herald a major shift in Egypt's foreign policy.

Thursday's talks between Nabil Fahmy and Sergei Lavrov come amid strains in Egypt's relationship with the United States, its main foreign backer and benefactor since the 1970s.

The U.S.-Egypt tensions followed the coup that deposed Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt was Moscow's closest Arab ally for two decades, starting in the 1950s.

But in 1972, then-President Anwar Sadat threw out thousands of Soviet military advisers and realigned the country's foreign policy, taking his nation closer to the United States.

The Russian delegation in Cairo is Moscow's highest-level visit in years to Egypt. Russia's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, is also in Cairo for talks with officials.