EREB BR LAR BABE RRS BR OA ee ee ee ON Vy as, £riw mY FHMttio iv. U -EGYPTIAN AIR LINK RESTORED A group of 105 Egyptian tourists arrived on the island yesterday sig- nalling the first crack in the 20-month old frigid relations between Cyprus and Egypt. The smiting tourists, here for the Ramadan holiday, landed at Larnaca Airport on the first flight between the two countries since Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with ‘4 Cyprus in February The Cyprus Tour- ist Organisation wel- comed the Egyptian visitors with gifts of wine and VIP treat- ment. The resumption of air traffic between Cy- prus and Egypt was de- cided last month as reported exclusively by the Cyprus Weekly at the time. Cyprus Air- ways and EgyptAir have each put on one flight a week to and from Larnaca and Cai- ro for the time being. Cyprus Airways inau- gurated the service first, with EgyptAir following with its first flight today. Progress Official sources were hopeful that the resump- tion of the flights and the exchange of tourists would pave the way for further progress in the restoration of the previ- ously exceptionally close Cypriot-Egyptian _rela- tions. There was no immediate indication of when full diplomatic rela- tions will be restored, though efforts are being exerted in this direction, the sources said. The arrival of the happy, smiling Egyptian tourists at Larnaca yes- terday at dusk contrasted Starkly with the last Egyp- tian group's arrival - on the ill-fated 18th of Febru- ary, 1978 that ended ina bloody tragedy with far- reaching ramifications. A total of 16 Egyptian crack-commandos were shot dead by Cypriot Na- tional Guard troops on that day. eee 1978. Passengers come off the first flight to land in Larnaca from Cairo since early 1978. Both Cyprus © Alrways and Egyp- tAir will now be run- ning a regular service between the two countries. The commandos ar- rived at Larnaca in a mili- tary transport aircraft and attempted to seize a Cy- prus Airways plane with two Palestinian hijackers aboard, despite an appeal by President Spyros Ky- prianou, who went per- sonally to the airport, to desist from any action. The two Palestinians were attempting to es- cape after murdering Youssef e! Sebai, a close confidant and friend of President Anwar Sadat, in Nicosia, the previous day. President Sadat was so angered by the death of his troops that he cut off diplomatic relations.