Foreign Ministry cautions Egyptians in Iraq, Libya
Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarter - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with all state apparatuses is keen on getting acquainted with the conditions of Egyptian expats in Libya and Iraq in light of the latest developments in the two countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Atty said in a Sunday press statement.

“The ministry is exerting all efforts to provide maximum protection and insurance for Egyptians living in Libya and Iraq,” Atty said. “The ministry is working now on evacuating Egyptian citizens residing in Libya and Iraq who want to return to their homeland, in coordination with the concerned authorities in the two countries.”

Atty also called on Egyptians not to temporarily travel to Libya or Iraq in light of the current security conditions there, and called on all Egyptians living in Libyan and Iraqi territory to be cautious during the period they spend outside their workplaces or places of residence.

“As for the Egyptian expats there, they should avoid being involved in any conflict there to preserve their lives and property,” Atty said.

He also said Egypt’s embassies in Tripoli and Baghdad and its consulates in Benghazi and Erbil are receiving requests and inquiries from Egyptians in the two countries.

Cairo International Airport Sunday received 69 Egyptians who were prevented from travelling to Baghdad by Iraqi authorities due to the security situation and the ongoing clashes there, Youm7 reported.

On Friday, 245 Egyptian workers returned to Cairo, having fled the conflict between the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or the Arabic acronym “Daash”)   and the Iraqi government, MENA reported.

Abdel Atty told The Cairo Post Friday, “There is cooperation between Egypt’s concerned government bodies and their Iraqi counterparts to preserve the lives of Egyptian expats,” but he declined to give an exact figure for how many Egyptians were in Iraq.

Iraq is facing one of its most serious threats since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces due to the ongoing unrest between the Sunni ISIL and the Shiite government in Baghdad. In the past week, ISIL forces seized the important cities of Mosul and Tikrit north of Baghdad.

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