Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Egypt restricts Iraqi refugee entry

As a result of the violence in Iraq, close to 2 million Iraqis have fled. Behind Jordan and Syria, Egypt is a highly-sought destination. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has now changed the stipulations for Iraqi refugees attempting to obtain visas into Egypt, according to a Reuters Foundation AlertNet article today. Until now, Iraqis have been able to apply for visas at point of entry into Egypt. Now, however, visa applications will only be accepted in advance of departure through Egyptian consulates.

The change comes in light of security concerns, according to Senior Foreign Ministry official Mahmoud Aouf. “This decision is due to the nature of the security circumstances accompanying the entry of Iraqis into Egypt at this stage. The sensitivities of Egyptian national security requirements must be respected,” Aouf said. The Iraqi embassy estimates that 120,000 Iraqis have fled to Egypt since 2003. However, only 5,000 to 6,000 have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

For the full article, click here.


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