US researcher denied Egypt entry at airport

Ahram Online , Saturday 13 Dec 2014

US academic and former diplomat denied entry to Egypt Friday for 'security reasons'

Michele Dunne senior associate in Carnegie’s Middle East Program (Photo:

Local authorities denied a US researcher entry to Egypt after she arrived at Cairo International Airport on Friday, reported state news agency MENA, stating that Michele Dunne was refused entry for security reasons.

Dunne, a senior associate in the Middle East Programme of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former US diplomat, came to Cairo from Istanbul Friday and flew to Frankfurt shortly after she was denied entry to Egypt.

Dunne stated in a tweet that she had come to Egypt by the invitation of a "pro-government group", in order to attend a conference, referring to the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. 

In a phone interview with satellite channel Al-Hayat 2, Ameen Shalabi, the executive manager of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, said Dunne was invited on the principle that it is important to have a dialogue with those "who don't understand Egyptian conditions."

Dunne has been critical of the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and subsequent political developments in Egypt.

MENA described her as an "American activist" who the national security apparatus has banned from entering the country.

Shalabi added that Dunne was invited to listen to the objective opinions of numerous Egyptian experts, and said he feared that the refusal to allow her entry, especially given that she was the only critical researcher out of 20 invited to the conference, would make her more aggressive in her criticisms of Egypt's post-Morsi roadmap.

Dunne's research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as US policy in the Middle East, according to her institutional biography.

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