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British, Russian top officials in Cairo to discuss aviation security

British minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon and a Russian delegation arrived on Tuesday to Cairo to discuss and inspect aviation security in Egypt

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Jan 2016
Sharm El-Sheikh
British tourists leave after finishing their holidays at the airport of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 6, 2015.(Photo: Reuters)
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British Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon arrived in Cairo on Tuesday along with a Russian delegation to discuss "progress on aviation security in Sharm El Sheikh" with Egyptian officials, a statement by the British embassy read.

Lord Ahmad, who has dual responsibility for aviation security in the Department for Transport and for countering extremism in the Home Office, met with a number of ministers to discuss ways to counter terrorism.

"We are working side-by-side with Egypt on improving aviation security and we appreciate all the efforts made so far," says Lord Ahmad.

According to the statement, Lord Ahmad met with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal, Endowments Minister Mohamed Gomaa, and Transportation Minister Saad El-Geyoushi.

The British official told Egypt's Premier that the British government is "grateful" for Egyptian efforts to improve security in the Sharm El-Sheikh airport.

"I know that the tourist industry is of great importance to the Egyptian economy and I also know that British tourists love holidays in Sharm el-Sheikh and want to return," the statement reads

During the visit, Lord Ahmad also visited the Al-Azhar English Training Centre where he met a group of English teachers

"Egypt is a friend and partner to the UK, and a country of vital strategic importance in the region. That’s why we will not leave Egypt to stand alone in facing the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism in the twenty-first century," says Lord Ahmad.

Meanwhile, a Russian delegation arrived on Tuesday to Cairo international airport to check on security measures inside the airport, Al-Ahram daily newspaper reported.

UK and Russia suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh following a Russian plane crash that killed all 224 on board.

Germany and France have also warned their citizens against traveling to Sinai, where major tourism hub Sharm El-Sheikh is located.

Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said last Friday that the country's tourism sector has been losing LE2.2 billion ($283 million) per month since the crash.

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