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UK says not evacuating its nationals from Egypt

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Nov 2015
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British tourists arrive at the airport in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on November 6, 2015. (Photo: AFP)
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The UK is not evacuating British holidaymakers in Egypt but rather assisting them to return home at the end of their holidays, the British embassy said in a statement on Saturday.

"Britain is not evacuating its tourists early from their holidays," the statement read.

The embassy said that flights resumed from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to the UK to "get British people home safely at the end of their holidays."

Britain had earlier grounded flights to the resort town over concerns that a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt's Sinai over a week ago had been downed by a bomb. All 224 people on board the flight, which departed from Sharm en route to St Petersburg in Russia, were killed.

As the probe into the cause of the crash continued, Britain as well as Russia sent planes to take holidaymakers back home.

Nine flights sending home around 2,000 people flew back to Britain on Saturday and almost 1,500 Britons returned home on Friday.

Russia has returned 11,000 Russian tourists from in the last 24 hours, RIA news agency reported on Sunday, citing Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

The UK says it is working in line with Egyptian authorities to resume British tourism in the North African country.

"We are now urgently discussing with ministers and officials in Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh the permanent measures that will allow British tourists come back to Sharm El-Sheikh as soon as possible," the embassy statement added.

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