Russia’s Transport Minster: Egypt and Russia To Sign Intergovernmental Agreement On Airport Secuirty

Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov revealed that Egypt and Russia are about to sign a joint intergovernmental agreement on airport security during the Egyptian civil aviation minister’s visit to Moscow in February.

Sokolov said that the Russian side requested a meeting with Egypt in the first days of February to discuss the agreement.

A date has yet to be fixed for the meeting, as reported by Sputnik(Russian state-owned news site)

In fact, the Russian minister has previously announced that a delegation from the Russian security experts in the field of aviation security will visit Cairo next February to inspect the security situation in Cairo International airport, pointing out that “this visit may be the last for the Russian delegation before the resumption of flights between the two countries.”

Last week, Sergei Izvolsky, spokesman for the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya), said Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy will visit Moscow to participate in the National Civil Aviation Infrastructure Exhibition, which will be held under the auspices of Rosaviatsiya, as reported by TASS(Russian news agency).

Izvolsky said that Egypt’s Minister will “take part in the exhibition’s plenary meeting and speak on the measures that Egyptian authorities have been taking to create conditions to resume air service between our countries.”

Russia started its inspection over  Cairo airports since a Russian Metrojet flight crashed in Sinai Peninsula shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport on 31 October 2015, resulting in the death of all 224 passengers and crew on board.

As a result, Russia suspended passenger flights to Egypt shortly after the crash. Moreover, a number of European countries suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh following the 2015 crash.

Sinai Province, an affiliated group to the Islamic State (ISIS), claimed responsibility for downing the Russian flight.

Egyptian investigations into the cause of the crash are still ongoing.

This week, Tarek Amer, the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) told a parliament’s economic committee that foreign exchange revenues from tourism have declined from $11 billion in 2011 to $3.4 billion in 2016.

Egypt’s tourism is one of the major sources of foreign currency in the country, that suffers from an economic crisis due to the shortage of foreign currency. The number of tourists fell 40% in the first quarter of 2016.

Tourism revenues have fallen as result of security instability in Egypt after the military coup in 2013 against Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.