Egypt considers air bridge for nationals to return from Yemen
Egypt Air plane - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt is coordinating with both Saudi Arabia and Oman to open an air bridge to transport Egyptian nationals in Yemen back to Cairo, said Amr Moawad, Assistant Foreign Minister for Consulate Affairs.

“We are ready to help Egyptians wishing to return to their homeland,” Moawad told CBC TV Channel on Sunday.

In order to return, Egyptian nationals in Yemen would cross land borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman, and then be taken via air from airports in both countries.

Ayman Mohamed, an Egyptian national in Yemen, told CBC TV Channel Sunday “there are ongoing strikes; we cannot sleep.” He also said that during the morning “life is normal, but the strikes start from night until dawn.”

Mohamed questioned the role of the foreign ministry to help them, saying many countries evacuated their nationals in Yemen. He also noted there is risk involved in crossing land borders to Saudi Arabia or Oman.

“We want to return back, but how?” added Mohamed.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson told The Cairo Post Monday the situation of nationals in Yemen is being discussed in ongoing meetings at the “crisis center,” which was created per a presidential decision in January to monitor the crisis in Libya as well as propose solutions for Egyptians trapped in the oil-rich neighboring state.

The Egyptian government has been carrying out evacuation efforts in Libya since mid-February after the beheading of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians by the hands of a local Islamic State (IS) group branch.

Moawad announced mobile numbers available for Egyptian nationals in Yemen to contact the Foreign Ministry in Cairo: 01220463333 and 01220473333.

The Foreign Ministry’s statements come amid continuation of the Saudi-led military operation Resolute Storm in Yemen for the fourth consecutive day. The operation aims to counter an advance by Shiite Houthi fighters against the U.S. and Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Hadi.

On March 28-29, the Yemeni situation was discussed during the Arab Summit, which was held in Sharm al-Sheikh, where the Saudi-led operation received support from participating Arab countries.

On the same day of the military strike in Yemen, the Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Hadi left his refuge in Aden for Saudi Arabia following battles between his forces and Houthi rebels on the outskirts of the southern port city. Hadi arrived and left the Arab Summit on board Saudi King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz’s plane.

Additional reporting by Ahmed Abdel Rahman

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