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El Al aircraft with "offensive missile capabilities" banned from landing in Egypt

Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation has said that Israeli passenger aircraft armed with offensive missiles will not be allowed to land at Cairo or other airports in the country. Engineer Wael El-Ma'dawi made his announcement after Israel's El Al Airline said that it plans to equip its aircraft with missiles to protect them from terrorist attacks.

In a press statement issued on Monday, the minister said, "This ban is not confined to Israeli aircraft but applies to all international airlines. Aircraft equipped with offensive missile capabilities will not be allowed to land in Egypt or enter Egyptian airspace." He did note, however, that aircraft armed with defensive missiles are different from those with offensive capabilities.

El Al suspended its flights to Egypt last year and has closed its office at Cairo International Airport. The move followed the drop in passenger numbers travelling between Israel and Egypt since the January 25 Revolution.

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