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Please enter the digits in the box below:  |  Interviews  |  Sameh Shoukry: We have fulfilled all necessary requirements for resumption of...


March 17, 2016

Sameh Shoukry: We have fulfilled all necessary requirements for resumption of air traffic with Russia

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has given an interview to Interfax after this talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in which he speaks about prospects for resumption of air communication with Russia, the investigation of the A321 tragedy and Russian-Indian cooperation in the military and technological cooperation.

Question: Mr. Minister, you have said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that direct air communication between our countries can be resumed. May this happen by early May?

Anwser: I have no specific indication of when Russian decisions may be taken. But I‘m hopeful that the decision will be taken sooner rather than later in recognition of importance that tourism represents to Egypt. Egypt recognizes the importance of safeguarding tourists and safety of Russian tourists. As far as I‘m concerned I would like it to be resumed tomorrow, but that is a decision for the Russian government to make. We are facilitating in every way possible by cooperating with experts from the Russian Federation those who have come. We have implemented the recommendations that have been made, and we believe that we have fulfilled all necessary requirements. The work is in progress, of course. There will be additional steps taken, that must be put in place. They relate to the purchase of equipment, the training of personnel, but these issues will go on and on and on. They are not limited to any specific timeframe. So we believe that currently we have provided a sufficient degree of security that can be conducive to the resumption of as soon as possible Russian tourism.

Question: How has the investigation of Russia‘s A321 tragedy been moving forward? Is there, at least, a suspect in mind, or any idea as to who may have masterminded and perpetrated it? It was stated in the preliminary report from Egyptian investigators that the tragedy was not a terrorist attack

Anwser: There is no preliminary report. The investigation is continuing. This is an international investigation, by Egyptian, Russian, German, French and Irish investigators. It has two components - the technical component and the potential criminal activity. There is no conclusion yet. There is still analysis to be undertaken and various investigations, and when the investigations are completed, the answer will of course be provided in a transparent manner.

Q.: When investigation results may be published? Is there any timetable?

A.: I have no specific timetable. I hope it will be sooner rather than later.

Q.: Does President as-Sisi plans to Moscow or any other city in Russia? If yes, when such a visit may take place? Has Russia and Egypt already started working on such a visit?

A.: President as-Sisi has already Moscow two times, and President Putin visited Putin Cairo. There are no specific plans a visit of as-Sisi to Moscow, but he is always in communication with President Putin. Most recently they were in communication by telephone, and when they meet in various locations, they are eager to engage so as to further promote bilateral relations between our countries.

Q.: Does Egypt plan to buy on-deck versions of Ka-52 helicopters for Mistrales? Will Egypt buy equipment, that was removed from Misrales, from Russia? Are there negotiations on this issue?

A.: One of the important aspects of our cooperation has also been cooperation in the military field, in military purchases, and we continue to explore various opportunities to enhance Egypt‘s capabilities and to also provide cooperation and benefit to Russian industries.


U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman, who will leave his post in early October, has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about exchanges at the highest level between Moscow and Washington, a possibility of Russias return to G8, as well as his vision of the future of U.S.-Russian relations.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty on that is expected on August 2, about Russia‘s response to the U.S. and NATO possible deployment of missiles banned by the treaty, and about whether the Cuban Missile Crisis may repeat itself.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold negotiations on the sidelines of the Petersburg Dialogue forum in Germany on Thursday. Maas has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the forum, in which he speaks about prospects of settling the conflict in Ukraine, Germanys preparations for ensuring security in the absence of the INF Treaty and attempts to save the Iranian nuclear deal.

German Ambassador to Russia Rudiger von Fritsch, who is leaving Moscow after a five-year mission, told Interfax about the state of affairs in bilateral relations, Germanys position on the Nord Stream 2 project amidst sanction risks, and assessed prospects for settling the crisis in Ukraine under the new authorities in Kyiv.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about results of the trilateral meeting on Afghanistan settlement that took place in Moscow on April 25, prospects of the intra-Afghan meeting in Doha, and Russia‘s role in the Afghan issue.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the Alliances 70th anniversary that is to be celebrated on April 4. He speaks in the interview about the NATOs vision of future relations with Russia, its attitude to the situation surrounding the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty and the New START Treaty, as well as further plans of expanding the Alliance.

British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the current situation in the relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia, the impact of the Skripal case on it, the restoration of the numbers of diplomatic staff, exchange of information on counter-terrorism, possible introduction of sanctions over the Kerch Strait incident, the INF Treaty, and British-Russian economic relations.


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