After several months of denial, Egypt has now admitted that the Russian plane that crashed in Sinai last year was downed by terrorists seeking to damage Egypt’s tourism industry and relations with Moscow.
In a speech on Egyptian national television, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that the Russian airliner downed in the Sinai last year was indeed targeted by terrorists.
“Has terrorism ended, no it has not, but it will if we unite. Whoever downed the Russian plane, what did he mean? He meant to hit tourism, and to hit relations with Russia, Italy and if they were able to hit our relations with the whole world they would,” he said.
Whoever downed the Russian plane, what did he mean? He meant to hit tourism, and to hit relations with Russia.
Moscow had stopped all the civilian planes flying to Egypt on concerns of terrorism. This has reduced the number of tourists visiting the ancient Egypt since the occurance of the crash in Sinai on October 31 killing all 224 people on board.
Such an admission may carry some consequences for the Egyptian government. Acknowledging that IS took down the plane is not only an admission of the group’s strength but it also may open doors for victims’ families to seek compensation from Egypt.