Brits Being Evacuated from Sharm el-Sheikh as Cameron Vows 'Much More Robust Approach Against Extremism'
The United Kingdom was set to being evacuating 20,000 British tourists from Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday -- but their checked bags will be flying separately.
"We are working with the airlines to ensure there are suitable arrangements in place to reunite passengers with their belongings as soon as possible," a 10 Downing Street spokesperson said.
Outgoing flights from the UK to the Red Sea resort remain suspended. The Telegraph reported that British spies uncovered an ISIS bomb plot after the Halloween crash of a Russian Metrojet over the Sinai -- triggering the move to freeze flights.
That "chatter" was what led British Prime Minister David Cameron to say the plane was likely downed by a bomb before other world leaders would say the word.
The British Foreign Office "continues to advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el-Sheikh airport," while the United States hasn't issued a security update for citizens in Egypt since Nov. 2 and has not issued a travel warning for the country.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was in London today -- his first visit as president -- for talks with Cameron, and said at a joint press conference that the two had a "good mutual understanding" of how to align their responses.
"Ten months ago we were asked by our British friends to send teams to Sharm el-Sheikh airport, to make sure that all the security procedures there are well enough, and provide the adequate safety and security for the passengers," el-Sisi said. "...We have received the teams, we have co‑operated with them. And they checked the security actions; they were happy with that, and we are still ready to co‑operate on this particular area. Not necessarily on one airport but with all the airports."
Extremists have already caused tourism, an economic lifeblood for Egypt, to plummet, and el-Sisi reiterated that he's "completely ready to cooperate with all our friends to make sure that the security measures taken at our airport provide the safety and security needed for the people who come to us."
"...And we also talked about the actions needed to make sure that this will not have any negative ramifications on the future of tourism in Egypt, and that in the soonest time possible we restore the movement of tourists, of British tourists, to Egypt. Those who come to Egypt to enjoy their time; those who we are very happy to receive in our country."
When asked why he was responding with more urgency than other world leaders, Cameron said he was going by the intelligence he's been receiving.