Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is holding talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, while nearly 20,000 British citizens are currently stranded in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh city in Sinai.
In a joint press conference Thursday, Al-Sisi said he hoped the unfortunate Russian airplane crash would not affect the flow of British tourists in Egypt to which Cameron agreed but maintained that it was a duty to protect British nationals, especially as the UK is inclined towards believing a bomb on board of the plane caused it to crash.
Arguments erupted regarding the UK’s decision to suspend its flights from and to Sharm El-Sheikh, where a Russian Metrojet flight crashed last Saturday. The UK prime minister had stated that “although there could be no validation that the cause of the crash was a bomb planted abroad, it was still a more likely alternative”, according to CNN.
On the other hand, Egyptian officials condemned the ‘hasty decision’, amid concerns that the UK’s position is influencing other countries. The Irish and Dutch authorities ordered their airlines not to fly to Sharm El-Sheikh or enter Egyptian airspace over Sinai.
According to a statement by the Egyptian presidency, Al-Sisi told them conclusions should not be made before full investigations into the crash of the Russian Airbus were completed, as examinations of the airplane’s black boxes are still ongoing, in coordination with UK counterparts.
Furthermore, the Egyptian president said a diplomatic British mission had acknowledged that security measures were being upheld at Sharm El-Sheikh airport 10 months ago. Cameron said that Egypt and the UK need to work together to achieve the tightest security at Sharm El-Sheikh airport.
Meanwhile, the British Times published an article stating that Cameron was to announce new “curbs on the Muslim Brotherhood” within weeks, as part of moves to appease Saudi Arabia and Egypt, ahead of a planned visit to Riyadh early next year.
Earlier in October, Cameron said in a speech to the Conservative Party Conference that religious supplementary schools in England that teach children intolerance would be investigated and closed down, including Christian Sunday schools and Jewish yeshivas. However, according to the BBC, the move more likely targets “Muslim madrassas”.
Cameron stated that a “minority of Extremists within the large Muslim community was acting against the peaceful values of the Islamic religion”