Libya bars 800 Egyptians from entering Tripoli
The national flag flutters as Libyan security gather in the capital Tripoli - AFP/Mahmud Turika
By SAMAR SAMIR

CAIRO: Egypt is following the situation of more than 800 Egyptian workers who have been barred from entering Libya, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty told The Cairo Post Sunday.

The BBC reported Saturday that 800 Egyptian workers were barred from entering Libya at Maitiga International Airport due to allegations their moves might be “politically motivated,” as a response to allegations Cairo had bombed Libya.

The Egyptians left Egypt via the Borg al-Arab International Airport Saturday to Maitiga International Airport, and a Libyan spokesperson told AFP the passengers did not have valid visas.

An official at the Borg al-Arab visas department who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media told The Cairo Post that no Egyptian citizens of those denied entry in Libya have returned to Egypt yet.

He added the visas with the passengers are not valid because the Libyan airport passport control authorities stopped working with visas stamped with ink after adopting electronic visas.

On Aug. 26, The U.S. government said the United Arab Emirates and Egypt carried out bombing raids against Islamist forces in Libya. However, the U.S. State Department backed off this statement the following day. Egypt in September also denied fresh allegations its air force had struck Libyan militias.

Mitiga International Airport located about eight kilometers east of Tripoli is controlled by Islamist militias who have announced their own government there. However, Egypt and other countries recognize the new government presided over by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani that is using Tobruk as its headquarters.

Thousands of Egyptians have fled ongoing violence in Libya over the last few months following warnings from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Algeria has opened its border with Libya for Egyptian nationals to flee the violence.

However, some of the Egyptian workers who fled have returned to Libya, according to the Libyan News Agency.

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