Italy lifts travel ban on Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh

Ahram Online, Thursday 10 Jul 2014

Decision to lift provision in place since February comes two days after a similar move by Germany

Tourists who were due to participate in an aquatic exercise class, perform their exercises on the sand instead, at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

Italy has decided to lift its travel ban on the popular Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai, its ambassador to Cairo Maurizio Massari said on Wednesday, as reported by Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

Italy, along with a number of European governments, had advised its nationals to evacuate the Sinai Peninsula immediately after the bombing of a tourist bus in the resort town of Taba in February which killed three South Koreans and their Egyptian bus driver.

The attack, claimed by the Sinai-based militant Islamist group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, was the first to directly target tourists since the start of a terrorist campaign against the military and police following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July.

At a conference held by the European Union on Wednesday, Massari said that Egypt is going through a positive phase after last month's presidential election, won by former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, adding that the most populous Arab country is a key partner in maintaining regional stability.

Earlier this week Germany also lifted its own travel warnings to Sharm El-Sheikh in response greater political stability in Egypt, said Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou.

Italy is currently the fourth largest source of tourists to Egypt, according to Al-Ahram.

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