Egypt: Press Release - US & European Security Experts' Report

Press Release
Egypts Minister of Tourism
Egypt Update

March 20, 1998

US & European Security Experts' Report on Travel to Egypt

An independent panel of security experts from Britain, USA & Italy has recently visited Egypt to assess the security measures undertaken by the Egyptian government after the Luxor attack in November last year. The report praised the enhancement of the security level after convening with several top government officials, security personnel as well as randomly speaking to tourists visiting Egypt from different countries.

Three major tourist sites (Pyramids, Egyptian Museum & Luxor) were analyzed by the panel as follows:

I. Pyramids Area - Giza

The zone consists of three key tourist areas -- the Sphinx, the Giza pyramids and Sakkara Pyramids. Each of these areas has its own security team comprised of tourist, district, state police as well as Egypt's special forces.

The four groups operate under the command and training structure of one authority. Patrols take place in the immediate vicinity of the sites and deep into the desert. Security personnel also communicate via more sophisticated devices to guarantee security of such an open area.

II. Egyptian Museum - Cairo

A sophisticated airport-style screening is now under completion. Large number of video cameras are constantly monitored.

III. Luxor

Monitoring by several check points located prior to the monumental areas are now in effect.

The Luxor airport is carefully controlled. There are also regular river and road patrols as well as fixed guard points. All forces are receiving daily training and soldiers' duties are now limited to five hours a day to maintain alertness. Having reviewed all of the above measures, the assessment produced by the panel's report approved those measures.

Furthermore, a Swiss tourist and press delegation visited Egypt upon an invitation by the Egyptian government as part of a program adopted by the tourism sector in Egypt to acquaint foreigners with the general situation.

In their meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, he assured them about the enhanced security measures and announced that Egypt will host a significant number of tourism conferences during 1998. He further emphasized the economic and political stability in the country. President of Hotel Plan, the second largest tour operator in Switzerland expressed his belief that the government is undertaking all possible efforts to assure the safety of tourists nationwide.

On the other hand, Ambassador of the US to Egypt, Mr. Daniel Kurtzer visited Luxor and said that his presence and Mrs. Kurtzer in Luxor reflected their conviction that Luxor, as a legacy of Egypt and as a legacy of all mankind, is open again for everyone to enjoy. And that they hoped their visit would stimulate others particularly from the US to return to Luxor and enjoy its splendor.

"When that happens, that would be the best response to the terrorists -- that you can't stop people from proceeding with their lives in safety and security and enjoying the legacy that we share", he added.