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Russia urges political forces in Egypt to show restraint

August 14, 2013, 21:35 UTC+3

There are about 40,000 Russian tourists vacationing in Egypt now

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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russia urged all political forces in Egypt to show restraint in the current crisis, the Foreign Ministry said.

“At this time of hardships that Egypt is living through we reiterate our call to all political forces in this friendly country to show restraint and take guidance from the highest national interests in order to prevent further escalation of tension and avoid new casualties,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, August 15.

It expressed confidence that “further democratic changes and deep reforms in the interests of all Egyptians can be carried out through broad dialogue and resumption of the political process on the basis of national consensus.”

The ministry advised Russian tourists vacationing in Egypt to stay away from regions swept by protests and refrain from travelling beyond their respective resorts.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia advises the Russian citizens who are staying in Egypt to avoid areas where mass protests are taking place, and those who are arriving in the country as tourists to refrain from trips beyond the resorts and exclude visits to Cairo and other major cities,” the statement said.

There are about 40,000 Russian tourists vacationing in Egypt now.

Maya Lomidze, Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, told ITAR-TASS that “the situation at the resorts where Russian citizens are staying remains calm.”

Irina Shchegolkova, spokesperson for the Russian Tourism Agency, said “we may consider sending our representatives to [Egyptian] resorts to monitor the situation there.”

Irina Tyurina, spokesperson for the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, said local hotels have advised Russian tourists to stay in and be watchful following the imposition of a 7 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew in the country and resorts.

She said, however, that the tourists who arrive during the curfew would have no difficulty getting to their hotels. “All of them will be transported by buses and no one will have to wait until 6 a.m. at the airport,” Tyurina said, adding that the buses may be stopped at roadblocks for document checks.

The 7 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew has been introduced in Cairo, Alexandria and nine provinces of Egypt. Violators will face prison terms.

Earlier in the day, interim President Adly Mansour signed a decree introducing a state of emergency in the country for one month.

Meanwhile, the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Egypt has suspended its work for two days to avoid security risks for visitors.

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