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Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says Moscow, Cairo overcome negative effects of Sinai plane crash

December 30, 2016, 18:51 UTC+3 CAIRO

The Egyptian diplomat noted that there had been significant progress in relations between Moscow and Cairo over the past two years

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CAIRO, December 30. /TASS/. Russia and Egypt have been able to overcome the negative consequences of the Russian plane crash over Sinai last fall, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ahmed Abu Zeid, told TASS.

"The crash of the Russian aircraft has dominated over relations all the time," he said. "However, the two sides cooperated vigorously at various stages of the investigation, both in establishing the causes of the disaster and in overcoming the aftermath of this tragedy. There were the desire and political will on either side to overcome this difficult stage, cope with the aftermath and confirm that common interests are pushing them towards closer cooperation and coordination."

According to the diplomat, there has been significant progress in bilateral relations over the past two years. "There is a surge in cooperation between the two countries," he noted. "This is evident from regular contacts at all levels - at the level of the top political leaders, the Foreign Ministries and cooperation between various agencies. There are areas where cooperation is the most noticeable, for example, in the military sphere or in the energy sector."

"This is also seen in efforts to resolve various crises in the region, including the Syrian conflict. Moscow and Cairo maintain continual contacts in terms of supporting the political settlement of the Syrian crisis, the approaches towards the fight against terrorism and promoting efforts in this regard in Syria. Everything is built on common understanding and coordination between the Egyptian and Russian sides, " he noted.

The eradication of terrorism in Syria is a priority objective in the approach towards resolving the crisis in that country, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"It is necessary to continue the mission to eradicate terrorism in Syria, this is one of the most important priorities," he said. "However, we should not forget about the need to search for a political solution, and this is very important."

According to the diplomat, "the Syrian issue has always been in the spotlight during Egypt’s contacts with various countries in the region." "We have always noted the importance of making sure that regional influence on it has a positive effect only rather than negative," he said.

"When Russia began its operations in Syria with a view to combating terrorism, Cairo said it understood such moves and supported them, since this is a key and priority issue for us," Ahmed Abu Zeid stressed. "There is complete mutual understanding between Egypt and Russia in this regard. We need to confront terrorism both in Syria and in the region. Separating Syria’s political opposition from extremist organizations is important too."

The diplomat also said that another "two plus two" meeting (of the Russian and Egyptian foreign and defense ministers) is due to be held in 2017.

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