( CNN) Egypt's President alluded to terrorism in the downing of a Russian passenger jet over Sinai last year, though he did not say immediately that terrorists carried out an attack on it.

“Has the confrontation and terrorism aimed? No , has still not been. Whoever downed that aircraft, what did he want? ” Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said in a speech at a seminar. “Just to reach tourism? No. To reach relations. To reach the relationship with Russia, reached the relationship with Italy.”

State-run news site al-Ahram reported that this was the first time the Egyptian President has acknowledged terrorism could be the cause of the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 on October 31 that killed all 224 people on board.