The Egyptian government has refused to concede that it was terrorists that brought down a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai desert last week, despite the US and the UK saying that intelligence points strongly to the crash being caused by a bomb.
Egyptâ€™s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, denied the international suspicions that the tragedy was an act of terrorism, as intensifying restrictions on air travel threatened to cripple the countryâ€™s vital tourism industry.
â€œWe have not dismissed any possibility but there is no hypothesis yet, before the investigations are over and a full report is ready,â€ Shoukry said on Saturday.
Shoukry said foreign intelligence that had triggered the international travel restrictions had not been shared with Egypt.
â€œWe expected that any technical information should have been shared with us, at a technical level, before publicising it in the media,â€ he said.
Security officials said, however, that they had launched an investigation into local staff and ground crew in Sharm el-Sheikh who had come into contact with the MetroJet Airbus A321 before it crashed 23 minutes after takeoff, killing all 224 people on board.