Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Egypt accuses PM Theresa May over 'mind-boggling' Sharm el-Sheikh flights ban

Egypt wants the UK to resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh Credit: Reuters

Egypt's ambassador has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of blocking the resumption of flights from the UK to the beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, despite heightened security measures in the wake of a suspected terrorist attack.

Flight bans imposed after a Russian plane crashed on take-off in October last year have devastated the Red Sea holiday destination.

Ambassador Nasser Kamel said that since then security measures had been implemented and that, except for Britain, all EU countries had resumed air links, adding that it was "mind-boggling" that the UK had not.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Kamel said: "When the accident happened and the UK decided to suspend flights, we had an agreement with the British government to implement a joint action programme, under the promise that if the programme is implemented fully in three or four months, flights will resume.

"Egypt has done its share. We have implemented the programme, we have brought independent security firms to assess the situation.

"All EU countries have resumed flights to Egypt - including Germany, which does not take the security of its citizens lightly - and the only EU country which is not flying to Sharm el-Sheikh is the UK."

The ban has been in place since a Russian plane crashed in October last year Credit: PA

Mr Kamel's comments are the latest call for a ban on flights to be lifted. Earlier in the month an alliance of holiday companies called for the government to announce a date for the resumption of flights to the resort.

Egypt's ambassador said his country had invested millions of dollars in security not only at the airport but in the resort itself.

He said that the Home Office, the Department for Transport, and the Foreign Office had all indicated they would approve the resumption of flights.

He said: "It's mind-boggling, to be honest. When I talk to the Department for Transport or Home Office or Foreign Office, they are all for the resumption, so I think the decision is stuck somewhere higher. I think you should be asking that question to the prime minister."

The Foreign Office does not warn against visiting the resort, but advises "against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el-Sheikh".