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Egypt says ambassador to Mexico meetings 'follow ups'

The Mexican foreign ministry announced it had summoned the Egyptian ambassador over the killing of Mexican tourists

Ahram Online , Friday 18 Sep 2015
Yasser Shaban
Egypt's Ambassador in Mexico Yasser Shaban speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Affairs building in Mexico City, September 14, 2015 (Reuters)
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Egypt's foreign ministry has denied that the Egyptian ambassador to Mexico was summoned by the Mexican government, saying that the meetings with Mexican foreign officials in the past few days have been in the context of following up on the results of the Mexican FM’s visit to Egypt, a statement read on state-news agency MENA.

Spokesman Ahmed Abo-Zeid denied to Reuters' Aswat Masriya that ambassador Yasser Shaban was handed a request to compensate the Mexican victims of a mistaken attack on a group of tourists in Egypt's Western Desert last Sunday.

Eight Mexican tourists and four Egyptian nationals were killed by a joint police-military operation that was pursuing militants in the area. Egyptian officials have said that the tour convoy had entered a "restricted area" at the time of the attack.

In the foreign ministry statement, Abo-Zeid said it is necessary to wait for the investigation’s results, adding that the Egyptian government assured the Mexican side that it will be conducted with objectivity, transparency and accuracy. 

He said Mexico will be offered the results of the  investigation as soon as they are available.

Abo-Zeid also said that the joint press statement by Mexican FM Ruiz Massieu and her Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, reflects the agreement between the two parties, adding that Egypt completely understands the pain the incident caused the Mexican victims, government and people. 

On Thursday, the Mexican foreign ministry issued a statement on their official website saying that Mexico had delivered a diplomatic note to the Egyptian ambassador demanding "the necessary guarantees" to ensure the Mexican victims of the attack will receive "full compensation and reparations".

Mexico also reiterated the need for Egypt to carry out a "full, transparent and in-depth" investigation that offers an explanation "without delay", and asked that the Mexican government "be informed in a timely fashion" through their ambassador about the progress of the investigation.

Massieu arrived in Egypt on Wednesday where she met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and left on Thursday accompanied by the six injured Mexicans.

A statement from El-Sisi's office said a committee chaired by the Egyptian prime minister would lead an investigation into the incident and report its findings.

Upon arrival in Mexico, Massieu held a press conference and called on Egypt to compensate the victims "according to international rights", and called the attack an "unjustified aggression", AFP reported.

"We are determined to exhaust all available means to defend the rights of each of the 14 Mexican civilians who were affected," she said, adding that a foreign ministry legal advisor was reviewing options.

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