Algeria to open borders to Egyptians fleeing Libya

Ahram Online , Friday 15 Aug 2014

Algeria will grant exceptional visas to Egyptians trying to get home

Egyptian Libyan borders
Egyptian Libyan borders (Photo:Reuters)

Algeria is ready to open its borders with Libya to Egyptian workers attempting to return home, Egypt's ambassador to Algeria, Ezz El-Din Fahmy, said on Thursday.

Libya’s deteriorating security situation has led tens of thousands of expat workers to attempt to flee the country in recent weeks.

Egypt has organised regular flights from Tunisia’s Djerba airport to transfer thousands of Egyptians who had escaped the violence by crossing into Tunisia, while according to the governor of Matrouh, around 50,000 Egyptian workers crossed into Egypt via the Salloum land border with Libya over the last month.

In statements to television channel CBC TV Extra, Fahmy revealed that Algerian authorities were ready to facilitate the return of Egyptians who wanted to leave Libya via Algeria.

"The Algerian authorities are going to give Egyptians stuck at Algerian-Libyan borders exceptional visas," he said, adding that the Egyptians will then be transferred from the Algerian-Libyan border to the nearest airport in order to be transferred to Cairo.

"Egyptians in Libya who want to leave the country should head to our embassy in order to register themselves, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send to them a diplomatic commission in order to facilitate their travel from Libya," he added.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that between 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya until Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.

The number of Egyptian expats has declined since, although it is not clear how many Egyptians remain in the country.

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