CAIRO, January 26. /TASS/. The task to return to Egypt tourist flow from Russia may be solved any time soon, speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, Sergey Naryshkin told reporters on Tuesday following meeting with Egyptian House of Representatives speaker Ali Abdel Aal.
"We really discussed in detail issues of resuming the flow of Russian tourists to Egyptian resorts, and I am convinced that we will be able to solve these tasks soon," the parliamentarian said.
"Our side’s commitment to further develop the tourist exchange between our two countries is confirmed by the fact that at the end of last year the Russian government decided to open a consulate in Hurghada," Naryshkin said.
According to him, Russia is grateful to the Egyptian leadership for understanding Moscow’s concern over Russian tourists’ safety. "The Russian side is thankful to Egypt’s leadership for understanding our deep and serious concern over the issues of Russian tourists’ safety in Egypt. We realize that this was due to the tragedy that occurred in the sky over Sinai," the State Duma speaker said. Naryshkin reassured Egypt’s authorities that the A321 terrorist attack "had not affected the warm and friendly attitude of Russians toward the Egyptian people."
Naryshkin added that the aviation authorities and special services of Russia and Egypt were developing measures to enhance tourists’ safety. "Currently representatives and experts of our countries’ aviation authorities, representatives of the agencies responsible for security issues are actively working together to develop a package of measures that would ensure Russian tourists’ safety in Egypt," he said.
Sergey Naryshkin has reassured Egypt’s authorities that the terrorist attack on a Russian plane over Sinai has not told on the friendly attitude to the Egyptian people.
"We have reassured our Egyptian partners that the terrorist attack over Sinai has not told on the warm and friendly attitude to the Egyptian people in Russia," he told journalists.
This tragedy "once again confirmed that it is necessary to form a broad international coalition to fight against terrorism in North Africa and the Middle East," Naryshkin said. "Russia and Egypt can play a decisive role in these efforts."
He said he had heard from the Egyptian leadership the words of support to Russia’s anti-terrorist efforts. "Several months ago, I and my State Duma colleagues visited Algeria and Tunisia. Today we are here, in Egypt. And we hear the words of support to Russia’s resolute actions in Syria and Russia’s initiative to form a most broad international coalition to fight against terrorism, first of all, with the criminal terrorist organization Islamic State," the Russian speaker said.
An A321 passenger jet of Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) bound for St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 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.
That was the biggest air crash in the history of Russia’s aviation. It was announced on November 17 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 air service with Egypt.