18:51 GMT27 January 2020
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    CAIRO (Sputnik) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi inaugurated on Wednesday the largest military base ever built on the coast of the Red Sea amid tensions in the Middle East.

    The base will serve as a bulwark against "security threats in the Red Sea and ensure maritime navigation across the Red Sea to the Suez Canal and associated economic regions," Sisi's spokesman said.

    The air and naval facility, called Berenice, is located in the country’s southeast, several hundred kilometers from the Sudanese border.

    The ceremony was attended by the Abu Dabi crown prince and defence ministers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — Egypt’s powerful allies and Iran’s regional rivals.

    Tensions in the Middle East escalated last year when the United States accused Iran of attacking tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. The two teetered dangerously on the brink of an open conflict this month after a US strike killed a top Iranian commander during his visit to Iraq.

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    Abdel Fattah Sisi, Red Sea, base, military, Egypt
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