MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday praised Egypt's contribution to the settlement of Middle Eastern conflicts.
"We are actively cooperating in the settlement of regional conflicts, and I am very grateful to you for it. Egypt provides significant input into settling very severe regional crises," Putin said during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Sisi during the ongoing extended BRICS summit.
In his turn, Sisi said that Egypt is doing its best to support the territorial unity of conflict-torn Syria and Libya.
"Regarding regional conflicts, especially those in Syria and in Libya, we are obviously trying to play a very positive role in terms of the settlement, namely the need to fight terrorism and preserve the territorial integrity of these states."
Egypt also counts on Russia's support in keeping the two Middle Eastern countries from disintegrating, he added.
Egypt has been helping negotiate the establishment of a de-escalation zone in the Syrian province of Homs with the Russian Defense Ministry serving as a guarantor of the ceasefire. Moreover, Cairo, Moscow and Riyadh have been promoting the idea of conducting a second meeting of the Syrian opposition in October as part of the efforts to settle the conflict.
The Russian president also pointed out the positive trend in Russian-Egyptian relations.
"I would especially like to note that our economic ties are being restored. In 2016, [trade] grew 1.6 percent and then grew 14 percent in the first half of this year," Putin said.
However, despite positive trends in bilateral trade, Russia and Egypt are still discussing the restoration of flights following a deadly Russian passenger plane's crash in the Sinai Peninsula in 2015.
The three-day BRICS summit in China's Xiamen kicked off on Sunday. The event is being held in the new so-called BRICS Plus format, with the leaders of such non-BRICS countries as Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, Guinea and Tajikistan also taking part in the summit alongside the leaders of the five BRICS nations: Russia, China, Brazil, South Africa and India.