Egyptian and Russian prosecutors agreed on a continued judicial cooperation to “reach the truth” over the deadly Russian passenger plane crash in Sinai in 2015.
A statement by the Egyptian prosecutor general’s office on Tuesday said Egyptian prosecutors tasked with investigating the crash received their Russia counterparts to exchange data on investigations by both sides.
The statement said top prosecutor Hamada Al-Sawy stressed during talks with the Russian prosecution team on the importance of continued judicial cooperation and an exchange of data related to the investigations.
He underscored the necessity of mulling possible scenarios behind the crash “impartially” to reach the truth.
Tuesday’s meeting comes nearly a month after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to resume direct flights between Russia and Egypt's Red Sea airports.
These airports include Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, which are key hotspots in Egypt’s tourism industry.
Russia suspended direct flights to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, as well as other Egyptian airports, following the crash of a Russian flight in Sinai in October of 2015 that killed all 224 people on board.
Egypt has repeatedly dismissed in the past years preliminary investigative reports that the plane was downed by a bomb; which is a finding strongly supported by Russia.
Russia’s flight suspension to Red Sea cities has taken a heavy toll on Egypt’s tourism industry — a key source of hard currency — since Russian visitors were major contributors to the tourism market in the country prior to 2015.
Since 2015, Egyptian authorities have upgraded all safety and security measures at all of the country's airports.
As a result of Egyptian efforts, Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport in April 2018, ending a 30-month suspension, but did not resume flights to Egypt's Red Sea destinations.