Several hundred people took part in a mourning procession with lit candles in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh on October 30 to remember the victims of the Russian plane crash over Sinai last year.
Taking part in the procession were Egypt’s Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fahti, Governor of South Sinai Governorate Khalid Fuda, Egyptian lawmakers and representatives of the world’s biggest Islamic University Al-Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Church.
“On behalf of Egypt’s political leaders and the government, let me extend sincere condolences to the families of those killed in the crash and pay respect to their memory,” Fahti said. “We regret profoundly what happened and we are mourning over the crash victims. My message today is that Sharm El Sheikh will never forget these victims.” He called on “the entire world, all governments, groups and armies which are fighting against each other” to stop hostilities as “there is nothing in the world that is more valued as a human life.”
Russian Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Kirpichenko noted that from the very first minutes after the tragedy Russia “felt solidarity, sympathy of the entire Egyptian nation.” “This sorrow will stay with us forever,” he said. “And we only hardened to our commitment to pool effort to rebuff all manifestations of terrorism and extremism,” he stressed. “Commitment to cooperation between our countries is only growing. We believe that time will soon come when Russian tourists will return to Egypt, regular air service and free movement between our countries will be resumed. We are working on that day and night.”
A Russian A321 passenger jet owned by Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) bound to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31, 2015 some 30 minutes after the takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. It fell down 100 kilometers south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. The plane was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. There were four Ukrainian and one Belarusian nationals among the passengers. None survived. In November, it was announced that the crash had been caused by an act of terror committed by means of a home-made explosive devise with a yield of up to one kilogram of TNT. Following the crash, Russia suspended regular air service with Egypt.