Ahram Online , Monday 21 Aug 2017
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) welcomes his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry during a meeting in Moscow on August 21, 2017. (Photo: AFP)
The Egyptian and Russian foreign ministers made comments in Moscow on Monday indicating “progress” on the issue of resuming Russian flights to Egypt, which have been suspended since 2015.
The two officials also affirmed the necessity of continuing cooperation between the two countries, including protocols on air navigation security, while the Egyptian foreign minister expressed expectations that Russia would resume air flights and touristic activity to Egypt as soon as possible.
“We regularly consider the issue of resuming direct flights between our countries. Today we have noted positive progress in the work of specialists who are solving the relevant issues and proceed from the premise that there will be additional clarity regarding the prospects for resumed direct flights in the very near future,” Lavrov said at a joint press conference, according to Sputnik news agency.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry passed on a message from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in which he stressed the importance of enhancing the ongoing cooperation between both countries at the highest official level.
Lavrov told the press conference that Egypt and Russia share the same interest in restoring stability in the Middle East, as well as fighting terrorism.
Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman, said that the two officials met and discussed international and regional files of mutual interest, in addition to cooperation inside the UN Security Council and other international organisations.
Abu Zeid also said that the Egyptian pivotal role to restore stability and national reconciliation in Libya in light of the 2015 UN-brokered Skhirat agreement was stressed during the meeting.
The two ministers also discussed the latest developments in Syria, stressing the significance of cooperation between Moscow and Cairo to reach a political and peaceful solution to the crisis in the country, the spokesman added.
On the Palestinian file, the Egyptian foreign minister stressed the importance of the two-state solution as the ideal solution agreed upon by the international community.
Egypt has been implementing tighter security measures at its airports since a Russian passenger flight crashed shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport in October 2015, killing all on board.
Russia suspended passenger flights to Egypt shortly after the crash.