CAIRO: Egypt partially closed the Sallum border crossing with Libya Friday until further notice, only allowing Egyptian cargo trucks and citizens to return from Libya, and their Libyan counterparts to return home, Youm7 reported.
Egypt has closed the Sallum border crossing several times due to the frequent abduction of Egyptian nationals and trucks by Libyan militants, who sometimes demand Egypt release jailed Libyans.
The Libyan Customs Authority informed Egypt Monday that the security situation on its end was “unstable.” This prompted Egypt’s Port Security Authority Monday to demand Sallum Police Department close the crossing, according to Vetogate.
The Ministry of Foreign affairs urged Egyptians Tuesday not to travel to either Libya or Iraq due to the deteriorating security conditions in those locations.
Since the killing of former Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi in October 2011, Libya has descended into a security vacuum, and with its lack of a strong central state, the oil-rich country has been a source of instability for neighboring countries.
Egypt’s embassy staff in Libya returned home in January after five of its members had been briefly abducted. They have been working from Cairo ever since.
Algeria, Libya’s western neighbor, closed its embassy in Tripoli in May because of a “real and imminent threat” to its diplomats, the Algerian foreign ministry announced in press statements.
Egypt and Algeria withdrew their diplomats in coordination with the Libyan government.
Tunisia, also a neighbor of Libya’s, had a diplomat and an embassy worker freed in June after months of being held hostage in Libya, Reuters reported.