Russian President Dmitry Medvedev began a visit to Egypt on Tuesday to sign a strategic cooperation pact with Cairo as Moscow seeks to boost its diplomatic clout in the Middle East. Russia's economic and trade ties and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are expected to be high on the agenda when he meets Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, the first stop on a four-nation Africa tour. "The signing of an agreement on a strategic partnership between Russia and Egypt will become the central event of the Cairo summit," the Kremlin said in a statement. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told a economic magazine that the deal would "mark a relaunch of bilateral relations" in several areas of cooperation. In an apparent effort to underscore the significance of Russia's ties with the Arab world, Medvedev is also set to address the Arab League and meet its chief Amr Mussa.