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MOSCOW, November 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Federal Tourism Agency ( Rosturism) is planning to open its offices in Egypt in 2013, Rosturism Chief Alexander Radjkov told a press conference on Thursday.
"We hope that Rosturism will open its offices in 2013. At present, Rosturism has been making preparations for ensuring a legal basis for the work of Rosturism offices in Egypt planned to be established in Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurgada," Radjkov said. Their functions, above all, include assistance to Russian tourists and other compatriots in different situations connected with their presence in Egypt, Radjkov said.
Chief of the Near East and Africa consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Gocha Buachidze also expressed hope that two Russian consular departments would be opened in Egypt by 2013. Russia needs its consular missions in Egypt, the diplomat said.
Egyptian ambassador to Russia Mohamed Alaa El Hadidi expressed support to the initiative put forward by Rosturism and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Egypt welcomes the establishment of travel offices and consular services, taking into account a big number of tourists; they will make the work easier both for Russia and Egypt, the ambassador said.
A political turmoil in Egypt in March 2011 narrowed the volume of tourism from Russia to Egyptian resorts by approximately 40 percent, travel agents said. According to Rosturism data, in the first half of the outgoing year around 488,000 tourists from Russia had been to Egypt on vacation, while the number of Russian tourists visiting Egypt in the same period last year was more than one million.