Despite the recent news that the dialogue on the presence of Russian aviation security specialists at Egyptian airports was suspended at the initiative of Cairo, and as a result, the resumption of flights to Egypt was postponed indefinitely, on Monday, May 29, two high-ranking Russian official — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. This means that active negotiations will take place between Russia and Egypt, during which all major disagreements can be settled, including the issue of opening Egypt to Russian tourists.
As noted in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, during the talks, the ministers will consider ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the countries in all areas, including in the areas of culture and tourism. However, at the time of publication of the article, no statements were made regarding the possible terms and conditions for the restoration of air traffic between the countries.
It is worth recalling that shortly before the visit of Russian officials, on May 26, in the Egyptian province of El-Minya in the central part of the country, in the vicinity of the monastery of St. Samuel, terrorists opened fire from automatic weapons on a bus carrying Christian pilgrims. 26 people became victims of the attack, and 25 people were injured of varying severity. Such an event could not be overlooked by the Russian side, so it is hardly worth counting on any positive changes, according to experts.
However, in Egypt itself, Russian tourists are no longer expected this year. “Despite all the efforts that the Egyptian government is making at the country’s airports in order to restore the flow of tourists from Russia to Egypt, the Russian side is only putting forward more and more new demands. I do not expect Russian tourists to return to Egypt before mid-2018, ”said Hisham Ali, head of the South Sinai Tourist Investors Association.
“The very situation with the negotiations raises a lot of questions: it seems that Russia is simply not interested in opening Egypt,” said Sergei Zalivin, executive director of the Egyptian host company ALS-tour.
We will remind that the last time our officials voiced their optimistic forecasts in March: then the speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko, during her visit to Cairo, said that the authorities of the country of the Pyramids had only «four positions» Egypt — more than 90% of Russian requirements were met by that time. “After the plane crash that occurred, and this is the largest plane crash in the history of Russian aviation, we cannot ignore the need for the strictest safety of flights, passengers and resorts even in the smallest detail. The special services and specialists of the two countries have done a colossal job to ensure security at Egyptian airports. This plan has been fulfilled by more than 90%, ”- Valentina Matvienko.
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