CAIRO: Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou met with a Mexican delegation of tour operators Saturday in Cairo and offered his condolences over the recent killing and injury of a number of Mexican tourists by Egyptian security forces, Al Ahram reported.
During the meeting, Zaazou welcomed the delegation and asserted that the Sahara Desert attack was “extraordinary.”
Zaazou said the delegation “understands the situation” and said he expected the incident “will not affect the flow of Mexican tourists to Egypt,” according to Al-Ahram.
Zaazou, who was sworn in as tourism minister by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi Saturday, said he will meet with the Mexican Ambassador to Egypt Sunday.
The delegation has arrived in Egypt on Sept. 13 following an invitation from the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority. The tour operators had visited landmarks in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor and are scheduled to depart Monday.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry stated Monday that Egyptian security forces had killed 12 people (eight Mexicans and four Egyptians) and wounded another 10 (six Mexicans and four Egyptians) “by accident” when they mistook a convoy of mainly Mexican tourists for a militant group in the Sahara Desert near the Bahariya Oasis.
The six Mexicans who survived the incident told Mexico’s ambassador to Egypt they had been bombed by helicopters and an aircraft while they stopped for a break in the desert, according to Reuters.