Egypt's foreign minister to visit Moscow

Monday 14-03-2016 03:27 PM

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - Archive

CAIRO, Mar 14 (Aswat Masriya)- Egypt's foreign minister will set out on Tuesday to the Russian capital, Moscow, for a one-day visit to discuss a range of issues including the return of Russian tourism to Egypt.

According to a statement by Egypt's foreign ministry, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the Russian minister of industry and trade and deputy of the Russian Prime Minister.

The meetings will tackle the suspension of Russian flights to Egypt.  

Russia has suspended its flights to Egypt on the heels of a Russian airliner crash over Egypt's North Sinai. The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, took off from the resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh and was heading to St. Petersburg in Russia.

The crash, which left 224 passengers dead most of whom were Russians, took place on Oct. 31 and was claimed twice by ISIS affiliates in Egypt, formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis before renaming themselves "Sinai Province".

On Nov. 16, Russia announced that the downing of the plane was a result of "a terrorist act" after doing a separate investigation into the causes of the crash.

Egypt is leading an international probe into Russian airliner's crash and it is yet to reveal any information about the causes.

But President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said last month, during a speech on the occasion of the launch of Egypt's 2030 sustainable development plan, that the Russian plane crash was a planned attack intended to damage Egypt's tourism industry and its relations with Moscow.

Shoukry's visit aims to tackle cooperation projects with Russia, which include the Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt.

The Egyptian president previously said that the Russian offer was the "fastest" and the "best" on the table, stressing that the plant will only be used for peaceful power generation purposes.

Egypt will pay for the power plant with proceeds from "the actual production of electricity" from this plant, with electricity generation set to start in 2024. 

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