Russian delegation to inspect Egyptian airport security expected to arrive: official

Monday 20-06-2016 05:03 PM

Remains of the Russian airplane that crashed over the Sinai in October, 2015

CAIRO, Jun 20 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's aviation ministry is expecting the arrival of a Russian delegation to inspect security measures in Egypt airports, said the chairman of the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN) on Monday. 

The delegation's inspections must be made before the resumption of direct Russian flights to Egypt.

Moscow has suspended flights to Egypt after the crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board. The plane was heading from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Russia. 

Chairman of EHCAAN Ismail Abouelezz said in statements to the press that "all the demands from the Russian side have been implemented". He added that modern screening devices and sophisticated surveillance cameras  have been installed at a total cost of about EGP 417 million.

Russia maintains that the crash was due to a "terrorist attack," while Egypt says that evidence is still lacking as to the cause of the crash.

Egypt’s most active militant group in North Sinai known as Sinai Province, affiliated with Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for downing the plane twice.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi acknowledged for the first time in a February that the plane was downed by terrorists seeking to damage its tourism industry and ties with Moscow.

However, the Egypt-led committee investigating the crash says it has yet to find evidence that the flight was brought down by a bomb smuggled on board, as the ISIS affiliated group claimed.

An official with the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) said early June that Russia did not receive any response from Egypt regarding his agency's observations and aviation security recommendations.

The Egyptian and Russian presidents  agreed last May, on the need to take the necessary steps to enhance security measures at Egyptian airports and to resume Russian flights to Egypt.

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