TEL AVIV (Aug. 22)
Egyptian Tourism Minister Wajih Mohamed Shindi, who arrived in Israel yesterday for a three-day visit, told a press conference in Jerusalem that he had assured Premier Shimon Peres during a meeting that Egypt had cancelled all restrictions on Egyptian tourists coming to Israel, now that the Israel Defense Force has left Lebanon.
In meetings with other Israeli officials, Shindi told his Israeli counterpart, Tourism Minister Avraham Sharir, that he would try to equalize the balance of tourism between the two countries but noted that a far smaller percentage of Egyptians travel abroad than Israelis. Israel says some 34,100 Israelis visited Egypt last year while only 4,600 Egyptians travelled to Israel.
At a meeting with Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Shindi expressed concern at a recent drop in the number of Israelis visiting Egypt as a result of the imposition of a travel tax on Israelis travelling to other countries. He pointed out that a weekend in Cairo would cost an Israeli only about $150, but the Israeli traveller would have to pay another $200 just to cross the border.