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Egypt to commemorate victims of Russian airliner crash: Tourism Minister

A memorial ceremony will be held for the 224 people who died in the Russian airliner crash over Sinai last October

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Dec 2015
Hisham Zaazou
Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou (Al-Ahram)
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Egyptian tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said on Wednesday that a memorial service will take place on 19 December for the 224 victims of the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt's Sinai in October, MENA reported.

The announcement came following a meeting between Zaazou, Egyptian aviation minister Hossam Kamal and Russian ambassador to Cairo Sergei Kerbachenko.

During the meeting, the Egyptian and the Russian officials stressed on the strength of relations between Cairo and Moscow.

The Egyptian tourism minister also stressed that Russia is considered the largest source of income for the Egyptian tourism sector.

By mid-November, the Kremlin –without prior coordination with the Egyptian side – announced that a bomb had ripped apart the Russian jet and promised to hunt down those responsible and intensify its air strikes on Islamist militants in Syria.

Shortly after the crash, the ISIS-affiliated militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which is based in North Sinai, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Egypt is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash, and has allowed Russia to take part in the probe. No official and final report has yet been issued by Egypt.

Following the incident, all Russian tourists in Sharm El-Sheikh were transported back to their homeland and Russia's aviation agency Rosaviatsiya decided to halt EgyptAir flights from Cairo to Moscow.

According to Egypt's State Information Service, 97 Russian companies work in tourism in Egypt with investments of $56.5 million.

More than three million Russian tourists visited Egypt in 2014.

Zaazou said that there is coordination between Egypt and Russia in boosting security at airports. 

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