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Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013
The Italian foreign ministry had warned its citizens against travelling to Egypt in August,
including the popular destinations along the Red Sea coast, in light of the political instability in the country.
However, Italy has lifted its travel warnings on the Red Sea coast and Upper Egypt, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism announced on Saturday.
The warning had been issued days after Egypt’s interim government initiated a widespread crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and members of his Muslim Brotherhood, beginning with the dispersal of sit-ins in Cairo on August 14, 2013.
Chartered flights to Egypt resumed on Saturday, with a flight to Marsa Allam on the Red Sea coast in the Sinai Peninsula, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said.
The travel warnings were lifted after assurances to Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino in October, Zaazou added.
Close to 20 nations have lifted travel warnings to various parts of Egypt in the past few months, including the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Bulgaria, and Japan.
Last week, Egypt’s government lifted a state of emergency, imposed along with a night-time curfew in 14 governorates, including Cairo and South Sinai, home to some of Egypt’s most famous beach resorts, including Sharm El-Sheikh.
Italy is one of the most important sources of tourism to Egypt, with over 439,000 Italian visitors in the first eight months of 2013, according to official data.
Russia, which tops the list with over a million visitors to Egypt in the same period, has not yet lifted its travel restrictions on the country.