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British aviation security experts meet in Egypt to discuss return of Sharm flights

Senior aviation and counter-terrorism experts from the UK are in Cairo this week to discuss plans to allow British flights to return to Sharm El-Sheikh as soon as possible. 
 
The delegation, headed by the prime minister's envoy on aviation security Sir William Patey, were sent to implement a joint plan towards reinstating flights between Britain and the Red Sea resort. British Ambassador John Casson said talks with Egyptian ministers, officials, and top security experts have been progressing well. 
 
"Britain was the first to act on airport security issues at Sharm El Sheikh, and we want to be the first to find the solutions to restore normal flights as soon as possible," he said.
 
"That's why Britain's most senior aviation security experts are here in Cairo this week. Our talks have shown very encouraging progress, with shared analysis, shared commitment to swift progress, and shared ideas on the way forward. 
 
"We now have a strong basis to agree a shared action plan in the days ahead, and to return British flights as soon as possible."
 
He said a strong Egyptian economy with a strong tourist industry, at the strategic heart of this vital region, is a national interest for Britain.
 
"Recent events have shown that every country must take every possible step to protect their citizens. Britain will do that. But we must not allow anything to drive Britain and Egypt apart, or undermine our long-term economic and security partnership."
 
Flights from Sharm El Sheikh to the UK were suspended earlier this month on the orders of the UK government amid growing fears that the Russian passenger aircraft which crashed in the North Sinai peninsula on October 31 was brought down by a bomb. Nearly 20,000 Brits were flown home from the resort on special rescue flights operated under tighter security.
 
This week, reports emerged in the Russian media that a bomb had been brought on to the plane and had exploded under a passenger seat at the rear of the aircraft, not in the luggage hold as originally believed.
 

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