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Egypt Calls On Russia For Help Fighting Islamic Militants In Libya, Sinai

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, on May 29. (file photo)

Egypt called on Russia to help it fight Islamist militants that have staged a series of devastating attacks in the Arab country as senior officials of the two countries met in Cairo on May 29.

Egypt has been conducting air strikes against militant training camps in eastern Libya since a May 26 attack on Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery killed 29 people. The extremist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility.

Egypt also has been battling IS militants on the Sinai Peninsula. That group claimed responsibility for an explosion that brought down a Russian airliner in November 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

"We hope Russia will do all it can so we can work together to eliminate terrorism," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at a news conference in Cairo with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on May 29.

He said Egypt was seeking "security and intelligence cooperation to eliminate this phenomenon."

Shoukry said the attack on Christians showed that Libyan militants want to target Egypt and destabilize the most populous Arab country.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow is eager to sell Cairo weapons.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and TASS