Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for talks focusing on ways to boost trade between the two nations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greets Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, during their meeting on embankment of the Olympic Park in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Egypt’s president urged Russia on Tuesday to resume direct flights to Egyptian resorts as he discussed ways to bolster ties with Russian officials and lawmakers. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The two leaders have developed a close personal rapport and are seeking to expand bilateral ties, which have strengthened considerably over the past few years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi eat dinner in a restaurant on embankment of the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Opening Wednesday’s talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin said that bilateral trade rose by 62 percent last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center right, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, left, walk on embankment of the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

El-Sissi called on Russia to resume direct flights to Egyptian resorts, which Moscow suspended after a bomb planted by the Islamic State group brought a Russian passenger plane down over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi walk on embankment of the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

El-Sissi is on his fourth trip to Russia since taking office in 2014, and Putin visited Egypt in 2015 and 2017.

Source: The Associated Press

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