MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian and Egyptian foreign and defense ministers have discussed ways to expand military and security ties between the two nations.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said during Monday’s talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Zaki, that Moscow is ready to continue helping strengthen Egypt’s defense capability.

Shoigu hailed Egypt as an “example of stability” in the volatile region, voicing support for Egypt’s efforts to combat militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

Speaking at the start of the talks, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry noted that contacts between Moscow and Cairo help “strengthen security and stability in the region and the entire world.”

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has moved to increase military cooperation with Russia, and top officials from the two nations have held regular meetings.