Lawmaker: Egypt striving to reactivate tourism with Russia
Egypt intends to revive tourism with Russia and proving that point local residents in tourist areas are lining up to learn Russian, Egypt’s parliament speaker, Ali Abdel Aal, said on Wednesday. "We would like to revive our relations in the tourist sphere," Abdel Aal told Valentina Matvienko, speaker of Russian Federation Council, or upper house of Russia’s parliament. He said residents of Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh, which used to be most popular destinations for Russian tourists, are learning Russian. The Egyptian prosecutor general will pay a visit to Moscow in late July to discuss the resumption of air service between Russia and Egypt, he added. Egypt is looking forward to support from Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) in resuming flights between the two countries, Ali Abdel Al also said. "We are looking forward to support from the Federation Council in the issue of resuming flights between our two countries," he said. Ali Abdel Al noted that Egypt had promptly responded to Russia’s requests to enhance security due to the plane crash last October. The speaker stressed that Egypt had already met roughly 85% of Russia’s demands to provide security guarantees in Egyptian airports and ensure tourists’ safety. He added that the resumption of flights between Moscow and Cairo "would be a good signal." "We do look forward to a positive step from the Russian side in this direction," he said. Air traffic between Russia and Egypt was discontinued following the tragedy of flight 9268 that occurred on October 31, 2015. An A321 passenger jet belonging to Russia’s Kogalymavia airlines bound for St. Petersburg crashed some 30 minutes after takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. The crash site is located 100 kilometers south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, in the city of Al-Arish. All 217 passengers and 7 crew members aboard the plane were killed, among the victims were four Ukrainians and one Belarusian national.