Israel's Minister of Intelligence has said that Egypt is doing everything possible to make Sinai safe for Israeli tourists, local media have reported. Eli Cohen made his comments during meetings with Egyptian Deputy Intelligence Minister Nasser Fahmi in the Sinai resort of Sharm El-Sheikh earlier this week.
What were reported as the largest bilateral meetings for twenty years involved around sixty Israeli officials and business representatives. At Egypt's request, there was very little media presence.
Cohen and Fahmi spoke about the joint fight against "radical Islamic terror", especially in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. The Israel minister is reported to have said that Sharm El-Sheikh is a "safe and secure island" which should be excluded from security alerts so that tourists feel safe about going there.
The meeting was aimed at expanding economic cooperation beyond textile manufacturing and natural gas, which Israel started to export to Egypt last year. "Egypt is interested in promoting cooperation with Israel in all fields," added Cohen. "We will continue to act to bolster economic and bilateral ties in the future."