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Egypt aviation minister heads to Russia to sign air security protocol

December 14, 2017, 6:33 UTC+3 CAIRO

Moscow and Cairo have been negotiating the resumption of air flights to the country since late 2015

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CAIRO, December 14. /TASS/. Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi will travel to Moscow on Thursday to finalize procedures needed to resume direct flights between the two states, the ministry’s spokesman Bassem Sami told TASS.

"On Thursday morning, the minister will fly to Moscow for finalizing procedures to resume air communications between the two states," he said. "The visit will last two days, until Saturday. Any further information will be available upon his return."

Meanwhile, the al-Youm al-Sabea newspaper reported citing Civil Aviation Ministry sources, that "the minister will head a delegation of his department and other relevant bodies with an aim to sign an air security agreement envisaging the resumption of flights between the countries."

Moscow and Cairo have been negotiating the resumption of air flights to the country since late 2015. Russia stopped all air flights to Egypt following a terrorist attack on a jet owned by the Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) last October. The Russian A321 passenger jet crashed in Sinai some 30 minutes after takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. The plane carried 224 people on board, mostly Russian tourists. None survived.

Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said on December 11, commenting on the results of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cairo, that air service between Moscow and Cairo could be resumed in February 2018 and Russia was ready to sign the relevant protocol in the coming days. According to Sokolov, the date for signing the relevant intergovernmental protocol "depends primarily on the Egyptian party." "We will be ready to do this already this week," the Russian minister said.

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