CAIRO: Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Wednesday that the Egyptian government may start as soon as January 2015 to establish a dedicated area for embassies and diplomatic missions in the north-east of the city.
The announcement follows the closure of the British and Canadian embassies’ in Cairo this week; both were attributed due to unspecified security fears; the Australian government did not close its embassy but did warn its citizens to exercise caution.
Al-Masry Al-Youm anonymously quoted sources at the ministry saying the district would provide services as well as enhanced security for embassy staff.
Former Assistant Interior Minister Ali Abdel Rahman told Sada el-Balad Thursday he opposed the idea, which according to him, would be a financial burden to Egypt. Abdel Rahman also warned that putting all embassies in the same place could make them an easier target for a terrorist attack.
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Galal el-Rashedy, however, welcomed the proposed embassies district as it would facilitate the job of the security agencies in Egypt to secure the missions.
Abdel Rahman and other former officials told Sada el-Balad that some embassies already have their headquarters far from urban centers, while others might not be able to limit their various activities to one place, presenting a number of practical challenges for the proposed district.