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Egypt is among Russia’s leading partners in Arab world, says defense minister

November 25, 2015, 5:36 UTC+3 CAIRO

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu expressed gratitude to the Egyptian authorities for "close cooperation during investigation into all circumstances of the tragedy" in Sinai

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CAIRO, November 24. /TASS/. Russia sees Egypt as one of the leading and reliable partners in the Arab world, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Tuesday.

The defense minister said bilateral ties were visibly on the rise over the recent time. "Each summit meeting gives an additional impetus to our relations, milestone decisions are taken that we immediately implement," Shoigu noted.

Following in a terrorist attack on October 31, downing a Russian airliner in Sinai, "the task of our coordinated action to rebuff a terrorist threat, including cooperation in ensuring the safety of civil flights, becomes particularly topical," he said.

The minister expressed gratitude to the Egyptian authorities for "close cooperation during investigation into all circumstances of the tragedy". "We highly value the understanding that Egypt showed as regards our concerns, including suspension of direct flights to Egypt from November 6," Shoigu added.

Focusing on military-technical cooperation with Egypt, he said "contacts of the Egyptian president with Russian President Vladimir Putin confirm that military-technical cooperation is an important component of relations and has major importance for maintaining and strengthening security and stability in the region".

"Bilateral cooperation has sizably grown since the first session of the joint Russian-Egyptian commission for military-technical cooperation held in Moscow in March 2015," he noted.

Russian Kogalymavia Flight 9268 came down about half-an-hour after leaving the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the Russian city of St. Petersburg. All 224 aboard the plane perished. On November 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to suspend flights to Egypt amid security concerns.

On November 17, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov informed Russian President Vladimir Putin that the A321 plane crash had been caused by an explosion of a homemade bomb with a yield of up to 1 kilograms TNT.

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