Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov announced that a delegation of experts is to head to Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh next week to discuss air safety issues with Egyptian officials, six months after Russia suspended all direct flights to the country.
“In April, even in the coming week, we will send specialists to Sharm El-Sheikh airport….[to] hold another round of talks and dialogue with our Egyptian partners to address the issue of our justified safety demands at the airports where our tourists fly,” he told representatives of the United Russia faction in the Russian Parliament’s lower house, according to Russian news agency TASS.
Last month, Sokolov announced his country’s request that Russian experts be permanently deployed to Egypt’s airports to monitor security procedures following any resumption of flights between Egypt and Russia.
He added that Russian officials are awaiting approval of their demands by their Egyptian counterparts.
It’s not clear whether next week’s meeting would include talks about the Russian request.
Sokolov’s statements on Monday come only few days after the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism, Roman Skory, said both Egypt and Turkey won’t be open to Russian tourists in 2016.
“Turkey will not be reopened this year for sure, and the latest events in Egypt showed that Egypt will most likely not be reopened either,” Skory said.
Following the downing of a Russian passenger airliner over Sinai on 31 October which killed all 224 on board, Russia and several other European countries, suspended direct flights from Egypt, citing concerns over security conditions in Egyptian airports.
The Kremlin said on 17 November that a bomb ripped apart the Russian passenger jet, and promised to hunt down those responsible. The IS militant group claimed responsibility for the deadly incident.
Egypt and Russia have repeatedly said the two countries would make joint efforts to resume direct flights between Russia to Egypt in the shortest possible period of time.
Source: Ahram Online