El-Sisi confident Russian flights will resume ‘soon’ to Egyptian resort cities

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivers a speech during a session at the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, in Moscow, Russia October 16, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 17 October 2018
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El-Sisi confident Russian flights will resume ‘soon’ to Egyptian resort cities

  • “I am confident that given the positive spirit between the two countries, direct flights to other Egyptian cities will resume,” Sisi said
  • El-Sisi also hailed Egypt’s diplomatic relations with Russia, which have enjoyed a course of 75 years

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Tuesday he is confident Russia will resume direct flights to Egyptian resorts as he discussed ways to bolster ties with Russian officials and lawmakers.

Addressing the Russian parliament’s upper house, El-Sisi said: “Our efforts to resume direct flights between Cairo and Moscow ended in success after the visit by President Putin to Egypt in December 2017.

“I am confident that given the positive spirit between the two countries, direct flights to other Egyptian cities will resume,” the Egyptian president said, emphasizing that restoring the flights was essential for Egypt’s tourism industry.

The highest number of tourists to Egypt annually used to come from Russia before Moscow suspended flights after a bomb planted by the Daesh group brought a Russian passenger plane down over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

Earlier this year, flights between Moscow and Cairo resumed in April after Egyptian officials beefed up airport security.

El-Sisi also hailed Egypt’s diplomatic relations with Russia, which have enjoyed a course of 75 years.

“Russia was the first to help Egypt restore its occupied territories. Egypt also won’t forget Russia’s contribution in its battle for development, as it helped [Egypt] build the high dam and other megaprojects,” he said.

El-Sisi attended meetings in Moscow with top Russian lawmakers and Cabinet ministers, he then met over dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi later in the day.

The two leaders have developed a close personal rapport and sought to expand bilateral ties, which have strengthened considerably over the past few years.

El-Sisi is on his fourth trip to Russia since taking office in 2014, and Putin visited Egypt in 2015 and 2017.

Egypt has signed deals to buy billions of dollars’ worth of Russian weapons, including fighter jets and assault helicopters. When Putin visited Cairo last December, officials signed a deal for Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa.


Iran seizes British tanker in Strait of Hormuz for breaking ‘maritime rules’

Updated 14 min 13 sec ago
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Iran seizes British tanker in Strait of Hormuz for breaking ‘maritime rules’

  • UK government convened an emergency COBRA meeting to formulate its response
  • The Stena company responsible for the ship also released a statement

TEHRAN: Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps announced on Friday they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules."

The Stena Impero tanker "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules," the Guards' official website Sepahnews announced.

The UK government convened an emergency COBRA meeting to formulate its response and a foreign ministry spokesperson said: "We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf."

The Stena company responsible for the ship also released a statement, which read: "Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July, UK registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.


"There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew.

"Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019. We are in close contact with UK government authorities."