Some Egyptians return home from Ukraine, 1,000 expats on their way to Bucharest: Minister

Ahram Online , Saturday 26 Feb 2022

Small groups of Egyptians in Ukraine have arrived back home, while around 1,000 more are on their way to Bucharest, the capital of Romania, Minister of Emigration Nabila Makram has said.

Egyptian Emigration Minister Nabila Makram holds video meetings with Egyptian students in Ukraine am
Egyptian Emigration Minister Nabila Makram holds video meetings with Egyptian students in Ukraine amid efforts to evacuate them from Ukrainian lands. Egyptian Ministry of Emigration

In remarks to media, Makram noted that 80 expats have also arrived at the Ukraine-Poland border.

This comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues for the third day, having claimed the lives of 198 Ukrainians, according to the Ukrainian health ministry, and caused tens of thousands of residents to flee from the country.

Around 6,000 Egyptian nationals lived in Ukraine prior to the invasion, with students representing a majority, according to officials.

In remarks to media on Saturday, Makram said around 3,000 Egyptian students are in Ukraine, noting that she has held three virtual conversations with the students stranded in the country.

Over the past few days, Egyptian embassies have urged citizens in western parts of Ukraine to head to the border crossings with Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, which lie west of Ukraine, to return back to Egypt through these countries.

The embassy, however, advised citizens in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv or eastern cities to stay at home or in shelters, adding that negotiations are underway to secure a safe exit for those in the eastern parts.

Makram urged students to abide by the embassy’s instructions and the security measures announced in the country.

This comes as Kyiv authorities have extended the curfew from 5pm to 8am local time, warning that violators will be considered “members of the enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance groups.”

People in Ukraine have sheltered underground as Russian forces have seized control of vital parts of the country and continued pressing towards the Ukrainian capital, which is still in Ukraine’s hands.

Makram urged Egyptians in western areas who are heading to the Romanian and Polish borders to have enough food and wear heavy clothes as they may have to wait for long hours before they are allowed to enter.

People arriving from Ukraine to Poland are being granted visas and will be admitted into shelters for two weeks, through which they can return back home, Makram said, noting that they do not have to take PCR tests.

The best crossings to enter Poland from Ukraine, despite being crowded, are Krakowiec, Korczowa, Szeginie and Medyka, the minister said in a post on her Instagram account.

She, however, advised citizens to avoid the Medyka crossing currently due to reports of scuffles there.

Other crossings with no complaints reported are Jagodzin, Dorohusk, Rawa Ruska and Hrebenne, the minister added.

Makram urged expats to contact the Egyptian embassy in Poland through 0048514154166 and 0048511538378.

Egypt has affirmed on Thursday evening the importance of upholding dialogue and diplomatic solutions, as well as endeavours that would hasten a political settlement to the Ukrainian crisis, according to a statement by the foreign ministry.

In a separate statement, the ministry said the Egyptian embassy in Kyiv was following closely the latest developments to the Egyptian community currently in Ukraine and shared the mobile numbers of diplomats in the embassy, including the mobile number of Ambassador Ayman El-Gamal (+380932165877).

The embassy can also be reached at: +380732009984 and +380634779436.

On Thursday, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism asserted that all tourists from countries affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine are welcome to continue with their stay at Egyptian hotels until their safe return to their countries.

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