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Families of Russian plane crash victims invited to Red Sea governorate

The families of last year's plane crash victims are invited to visit Hurghada as soon as Russia's flight ban to Egypt is lifted, said the Red Sea governor

Ahram Online , Friday 4 Mar 2016
Russian families
A photo for one of the families of the Russian airliner victims in Moscow late October 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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The families of the victims who died in the Russian airliner crash in Egypt last year will be invited to Hurghada as soon as the ban on flights from Russia to Egypt is lifted, Red Sea governor Ahmed Abdullah said on Friday.

Governor Abdullah made the announcement during the inauguration of the Russian Art Festival in the Red Sea governorate, according to Ahram's Arabic news website. He did not elaborate further. 

"The Russian consulate will soon be inaugurated in Hurghada to serve the Russian community there," he added. 

There are about 30,000 Russian citizens with permanent residence permits in Hurghada alone.

The Russian Art Festival is being held at the German Cultural Centre in Hurghada for 10 days. 

Moscow halted all flights to Egypt, a popular destination for Russian tourists, after the Russian airplane crash in Sinai on 31 October, which killed all 224 people on board.

Militants affiliated with the Islamic State group said that they had smuggled on board an explosive device hidden in a soft drink can.

Russia and other western governments say a bomb had brought down the plane. The official Egyptian investigating team, however, said it has not found any evidence of foul play.

Earlier this month, Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi appeared to admit that the Russian airliner was deliberately downed.

"Whoever downed the Russian plane, what did he mean? He meant to hit tourism, and to hit relations with Russia," El-Sisi said in a televised speech. 
 
Many tourism companies around the global cancelled their trips to Egypt over security concerns after the incident, which has significantly harmed the tourism sector.

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