London: Egypt is “completely ready” to work with its partners to protect foreign citizens and wants normal travel to resume as soon as possible, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said today.
His remarks came as Britain pushed for increased aiport security measures in Sharm el-Sheikh after a Russian plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Red Sea resort, killing all 224 people on board and raising suspicions it was brought down by a bomb.
“We are completely ready to cooperate with all our friends to make sure that our airport provides the safety and security needed for the people who come to us,” he said at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“We also talked about the actions needed to make sure that this will not have any negative ramifications on the future of tourism in Egypt,” he said a day after Britain suspended flights to and from the resort, with Germany’s Lufthansa following suit today.
He also expressed hope “that in the soonest time possible, we can restore the normal movement of tourists to Egypt”.
Sisi said that Sharm el-Sheikh airport, where British investigators are probing security measures, had passed a previous inspection requested by Britain.
“Ten months ago we were asked by our British friends to send teams to Sharm airport to make sure that all the security procedures are (good) enough,” he said, speaking in Arabic through a translator.
“They were happy with that,” he said.
Cameron said it was “in our mutual interest to address this and get back to normal as soon as possible”.