Russian, Egyptian ministers meet in Cairo

Cairo and Moscow are closely coordinating their efforts to eliminate sources of financing terrorism and take action against states that sponsor terrorists, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Monday.

The meeting comes just days after Egypt carried out air strikes on jihadist training camps in eastern Libya in reprisal for shooting dead 29 Christians in central Egypt.

A group affiliated with Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the crash of the Airbus A321 operated by a Russian carrier that was bringing holidaymakers home from a resort on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Shoukry said the latest attacks on Egypt's Christians prove that Libyan militants are able to target Egypt.

Lavrov touched upon the ongoing Libyan conflict and its threat to the security in neighboring countries, including Egypt, saying the Western involvement in the chaos there eventually turned the country into "a backyard for terrorists".

"Libya was bombed and its government was violently overthrown". The Secretary-General later told RT's Maria Finoshina that he "very much" approves of Egypt's airstrikes against terrorists in Libya. The regime was changed with the help of those [militants], who came from Europe.

The two parties agreed to continue sharing intelligence and discussed joint exercises and military training.

The Russian and Egyptian foreign and defense ministers also held a joint meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and discussed regional conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday held talks in Cairo with Russian Federation s foreign and defence ministers on ways to battle "terrorism", his office said.

Russia suspended flights to Egypt in 2015 after a Russian airliner crashed shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, killing all 224 people on board.

  • Leroy Wright