Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, Originally Posted in Arabic on November 9
The Egyptian authorities have been awfully busy with criticizing foreign governments on their reaction to the plane crash over the Sinai desert. In the last week, Cairo strongly deplored the British and Russian decisions to halt all flights to and from the Sinai Peninsula. But there are important facts to remember.
First of all, the British and Russian precautionary measures are normal procedures that would be taken by any government facing these circumstances. Even if halting all flights seems like an overt attempt to punish Egypt, it is, in fact, simply an expected security measure taken by governments to protect their citizens.
Secondly, Cairo should focus its efforts on addressing the security concerns raised by this incident, instead of deflecting responsibility. In neighboring Libya and Tunisia, for example, dozens of attacks have taken place in recent years. We have yet to see their spokespeople blame the West for their instability. Instead, authorities assumed full responsibility over the incidents and cooperated with foreign security officials to eliminate future threats.
This has not been the case with Cairo. If the Egyptian government wants to enjoy the benefits of tourism it must pay the price that comes with it: meeting other country’s security standards.
This certainly cannot ensure that another attack will never happen, but it may very well help the world work with Egypt instead of against it. – Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed