Egypt denies FBI involvement in int’l crash investigation
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - YOUM7

CAIRO: Egypt has denied U.S. media reports claiming that Cairo green lighted the American Federal Bureau of Investigation to join the international investigations into the Russian plane crash in Central Sinai, according to Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement of which The Cairo Post got a copy Wednesday.

“The regulations governing the work of the Technical Investigation Commission, in accordance with the relevant international agreements, allow for the participation of the countries where the plane and its engine were manufactured, the country where the plane is registered, the country where the incident took place, and the countries of nationality of the victims,” the statement quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Abu Zeid clarified that Egypt had already notified those countries, adding “this included the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as the company that manufactured the plane’s engine is a U.S.-based company.”

Abu Zeid’s statements indicated that Egypt accepted the U.S. offer of NTSB advisors, but not for the FBI investigators’ participation.

CNN reported Wednesday Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that Egypt had accepted an application from the U.S. investigators to join the investigations, saying “international investigation regulations allow Americans to tap advisers for their team.”

Following the 227-passenger plane crash Oct. 31, a committee with nationals from Russia (state of operation), Ireland (state of registry), France (state of design), Germany (state of manufacturer) and advisors from the engines’ manufacturer, according to a statement issued by the committee Saturday, without mentioning the nationality of manufacturing advisors.

On Nov. 9, Reuters reported FBI spokesperson Joshua Campbell had stated the FBI had offeredan assistance to participate in Russian plane crash investigation; however, both Egyptian and Russian sides had not accepted it.

Although the international investigation team is conducting the investigations and stated Saturday that the debris pattern was consistent with an “in-flight break-up,” London and Washington hinted that the crash could have been caused by an explosive device aboard; however Egypt and Russia said that there has been no confirmation of any explosions.

Additional Reporting by Ahmed Mostafa.

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