Egyptian parliament speaker: Probe into Russian airliner crash to be closed 'soon'

Ahram Online , Friday 15 Jul 2016

On a visit to Moscow, the speaker says he believes Russian-Egyptian flights may soon resume

Abdel Aal in Moscow
Egyptian house of representative speaker Ali Abdel Ali with head of Russian Duma Sergey Naryshkin (Photo:Russian Duma official website)

The speaker of Egypt's parliament, Ali Abdel Aal, told Russia's Sputnik news agency on Friday that he believed the investigation into the fatal crash of a Russian passenger jet in Sinai last year would be closed soon.

"Egypt's general prosecutor will visit Moscow at the end of July and will present results of the investigation to the Russian side. I think the case of the crash of the plane will be closed soon, and the flights between Russia and Egypt will be resumed," he told Sputink during a visit to Moscow. 

The MetroJet plane crashed in northern Sinai in October last year after departing from Sharm El-Sheikh airport, killing all 224 people on board.

ISIS-affiliated militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for bringing down the airliner with a bomb, and the Russian authorities and other countries subsequently declared that the incident was a terrorist act.

Egyptian authorities say that no conclusions will be announced until after the end of the official investigation currently underway in Egypt.

A number of countries, including the UK and Germany, suspended direct flights to and from Sharm El-Sheikh airport after the incident; Russia followed suit and has since 6 November suspended flights from all Egyptian airports. 

Abdel Aal met the Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Sergey Naryshkin, in Moscow on Friday. They discussed a number of issues, including the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt.

The decision to halt flights has been a major blow to the already-ailing Egyptian tourism industry.
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