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Kremlin Says Russia-Egypt Flights To Resume Soon

Debris from the Russian airliner that exploded over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015
Debris from the Russian airliner that exploded over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have discussed what the Kremlin said were "plans for the resumption of regular flights between Moscow and Cairo in the near future."

Russia suspended all flights to Egypt amid security concerns after a Russian jet exploded over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

The extremist group Islamic State claimed it had placed a bomb aboard the plane, which was carrying Russian holidaymakers back to St. Petersburg from the Egyptian beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The suspension of flights was a major blow to Egypt’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism. More than 30 percent of the tourists who visited Egypt in recent years before the bombing were from Russia.

The Kremlin statement, issued on December 29, did not say exactly when flights could resume. It comes two days after Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said flights might resume in January 2017.

Russian state news agency TASS reported on December 28 that Russian aviation security specialists were at the Cairo international airport "checking special equipment and security measures in the second terminal reopened this fall after repair and upgrade."

With reporting by TASS and Interfax
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