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Russia, Egypt have agreed on aviation security protocol: Russian transport minister

Maxim Sokolov said that a date, venue and time are yet to be set for the bilateral aviation protocol to be signed

Ahram Online , Sunday 12 Mar 2017
Maxim Sokolov
Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov (Photo Courtesy of Russian Presidential Press and Information Office)
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Russia and Egypt have agreed upon the final version of a bilateral aviation security protocol which aims at resuming direct flights between the two countries, TASS Russian news agency reported the country's transport minister as saying.

Maxim Sokolov told journalists at a press conference on Saturday that "[the Egyptian side] has not yet merely identified the date, the venue and time for signature of this agreement, while all the issues have been agreed."

Russia suspended flights with Egypt in October 2015, when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh. All 224 people on board, mostly Russian nationals, were killed.

A number of other countries also suspended flights after the incident, which Islamic State militants claimed was the result of a bomb they had placed on board. Germany, Poland and Turkey have since resumed flights; the UK, formerly a major source of tourists to Egypt, has not done so..

Russian airport security experts have visited Egypt on at least six occasions since the October 2015 crash to assess the effectiveness of new security measures put in place by the Egyptians to persuade Moscow to resume flights.

The latest Russian inspection took place earlier this year and the Egyptian officials said Sunday they would invite them back in about two weeks to inspect the facility one last time before they give the airport their nod of approval.

Russian officials have similarly said that they were close to resuming flights to Egypt, but they have not set a specific date. 

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