By Ahmed Abbas
The British embassy in Egypt said Saturday the UK is not evacuating its citizens early from Sharm El-Sheikh.
In a statement on its official Twitter account, the embassy added that all the security measures taken in collaboration with the Egyptian authorities were to ensure the return of British tourists safely at the end of their holiday.
“Thanks to the cooperation with the Egyptian authorities in Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh, we resumed flights from Sharm El-Sheikh to the United Kingdom,” the statement read.
The statement also stressed that the British ambassador discussed with Egyptian officials the permanent procedures that can allow British tourists to return once again to the Sharm El-Sheikh as soon as possible.
Travel movement is stable in Sharm El-Sheikh Airport according to a statement released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “68 flights arrived Sunday, including 21 Russian, nine British,” the statement said. It also added that a British tourist group arrived to Hurghada airport among 100 flights that landed in the airport.
The UK had suspended flights from Sharm El-Sheikh Wednesday and resumed them Thursday after an agreement on additional security measures with Cairo.
Over the past 24 hours, 11,000 Russian tourists were evacuated from Egypt, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in a press conference. “Clearly, on weekdays there are fewer flights, and the next weekend will be hot again,” said Dvorkovich. He added that Russian tourists are leaving Egypt without luggage, which will be delivered afterwards.
Earlier this week, Russian president Vladmir Putin supported a recommendation from the Russian Federal Security service suggesting the suspension of all Russian flights to Egypt until the end of the investigations.
In a press conference Saturday, head of the Egypt-led committee investigating the crash Ayman El- Moqadem said the committee is still gathering information, stressing that “all scenarios are still on the table”. Regarding the Western intelligence reports that suggest the bomb scenario, the committee urged those sources to supply it with any information.
Egyptian security advisor Sayed Ghoniem believes Egypt should review the security parameters in airports as a precautionary measure. “We also should raise the security clearance of airport workers to the highest level,” he said.
e also added that Egypt should work on an international level to ensure that any militants involved in this incident are declared terrorists.
Meanwhile, a fourth Russian plane left Cairo for St. Petersburg with the bodies of the A321 crash victims, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations press service told Russian agency TASS.
“An Emergencies Ministry plane has left Cairo airport for St. Petersburg. It is carrying the passengers’ body fragments and personal belongings found at the crash site,” the ministry said. Fifty-eight bodies have already been identified in St. Petersburg.