Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) visit a cafe at the Rosa Khutor resort in Sochi, August 12, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
CAIRO – 11 December 2017: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he discussed with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Monday speeding up joint steps to resume direct passenger flights between the two countries, which has been halted since 2015.
With the historical visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Egypt on Monday, many workers in the tourism sector expect a major breakthrough in returning Russian aviation and tourists to Egypt as soon as possible.
The return of Russian tourism is a priority on Sisi's agenda with Putin, as it represents a strong boost to the Egyptian-Russian cooperation. Several experts expected a tourism protocol to be signed on Monday’s visit.
Photo: 1: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2017 - REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool
The tourism issue, which is considered an issue of security, not politics, would show how Egypt is capable of attracting more Russian investment in the coming period.
The two most important issues to be discussed in this visit are the return of Russian tourism and the Dabaa nuclear power plant, stated Sherif Gad, director of the Russian Cultural Center, to Akhbar Al-Youm.
The bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia need to extend the communication bridge, particularly after an era of cold relations, added Gad.
Photo: 2 : President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, December 11, 2017 – Press Photo
Russian aviation and tourism were suspended after a Russian airplane was downed in Sinai on October 31, 2015, followed by measures and actions relevant to security requested by the Russian delegations for resuming flights between the two countries.
Egyptian airports are now equipped with the latest security mechanisms, including x-ray scanning devices and storage of footage from security cameras, as well as a fingerprint verification system for airport employees to control their entry and exit and to check the identity of individuals going beyond the customs section and the airstrips.
Russian inspection committees inspected Egyptian airports in the hopes of resuming direct flights as soon as possible, announcing that Egypt has become ready for the resumption of Russian flights.
Photo: 3: Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, 11 December 2017- Photo screenshot from OnLive
The most significant developments that President Sisi will discuss with his Russian counterpart are the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the death of former Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh by Iran-backed Houthi militias.
Sisi and Putin will discuss issues of common interest and tackle means of boosting the two countries’ cooperation in various fields, most notably the commercial, military and transportation fields.
Both leaders will attend the inauguration of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, which is located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker previously told Egypt Today.
Photo: 4: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in China - Press photo
A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.
On September 5, Sisi invited Putin to attend the final signing ceremony of the Dabaa plant in Egypt, and Putin announced that he accepted the invitation. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the foundation stone of the Dabaa nuclear power plant will be laid soon.
In February 2015, the Russian President visited Egypt and attended the signing of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow.