Egyptian president urges Russia to resume flights to resorts

Egyptian president urges Russia to resume flights to resorts
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, left, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is urging Russia to resume direct flights to Egyptian resorts.

Moscow suspended such flights after a hidden bomb brought a Russian passenger plane down over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Flights between Moscow and Cairo resumed in April after Egyptian officials beefed up airport security. Talks about restoring direct air travel to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts have dragged on.

Addressing the Russian parliament’s upper house, el-Sissi on Tuesday emphasized that restoring the flights was essential for Egypt’s tourism industry.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host el-Sissi for dinner at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The two leaders have developed a close personal rapport and sought to expand bilateral ties.