Resumption of Flights Between Russia and Egypt Would Be ‘Biggest Punishment’ for Terrorists

17.03.2016

During his visit to Moscow, the Egyptian foreign minister told Russian officials that Cairo had implemented all of Russia recommendations to improve security in its airports after terrorists downed a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai last October.

This week, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukry visited Moscow, meeting with top Russian officials. In an interview with Valdaiclub.com, Mustafa El-Labbad, Director of Al Sharq Centre for Regional and Strategic Studies in Cairo, shared his view of the current state of Russian-Egyptian relations and their prospects.

“The Russian-Egyptian relations are based on three pillars,” he said in a telephone comment. “The first one is fighting terrorism, the second one is trying to achieve a political settlement of the Syrian crisis, where Russia and Egypt have a common ground, and the third one is that the Middle East should have balanced relations with the superpowers: the United States, Russia, and China.”

The Egyptian public opinion highly appreciates Russia’s position on the Middle East, El-Labbad said. “Egyptians have seen that dependence on the United States has not solved problems of the region, on the contrary, it sharpened them. Russia’s participation in solving political issues of the region plays a constructive role for the world order, he stressed.

During his visit to Moscow, the Egyptian foreign minister told Russian officials that Cairo had implemented all of Russia recommendations to improve security in its airports after terrorists downed a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai last October.

Asked how the suspension of direct flights between Russia in Egypt following the attack was perceived by the Egyptian public opinion, El-Labbad said they demonstrated a mix of understanding and disappointment. “To be frank, no one blamed Russia for doing that, since it is a terrorist attack,” he said, “but many people felt disappointed, because they felt punished for the terrorist attack they had not done”.

“Now understanding for the Russian state is still there, but we hope that disappointment will go,” El-Labbad went on to say. “The target was to spoil the Egyptian-Russian relations and when the flights are fully resumed, it will be the biggest punishment for the terrorists,” he concluded.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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