Egypt repatriates 71 more nationals who fled Ukraine via Slovakia

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Mar 2022

An Air Cairo flight repatriated on Tuesday 71 Egyptian nationals from Bratislava, Slovakia after they had fled the conflict in Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Egypt repatriates 71 Egyptians from Slovakia via an Air Cairo plane. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The ministry added that Egypt is continuing its intensive efforts to bring home hundreds of nationals who fled to Ukraine’s neighbouring states. Prior to the Russian invasion, around 6,000 Egyptians lived in Ukraine, including 3,000 students.

Since the Russian invasion, Egypt has repatriated more than 550 of citizens who had fled to Romania, Poland, and Hungary. On Friday, Egypt launched an air bridge to bring nationals fleeing Ukraine home.

Over the weekend, Cairo International Airport received an Air Cairo plane carrying 174 Egyptian nationals and another two planes carrying 177 nationals.

Also, Egypt has repatriated over the past week 175 expats from Romania and 30 from Hungary, most of whom are students.

The majority of Egyptians who were in Ukraine prior to the invasion have been evacuated to these four European countries, head of the Egyptian Expat Community in Ukraine Ali Farouk told the media on Saturday, noting that the evacuation is still continuing.

However, Farouk said the exact number of Egyptians who have left the country is “almost impossible” to determine, since many did not inform the embassies before departing and did so across several border crossings.

Egypt’s Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Mona Makram has denied rumours that civilians have been taken hostage in Ukraine, including 90 Egyptians.

“That is another rumour that shakes the hearts of the [students’] families in Egypt and worries our students who are in the cities of eastern and central Ukraine,” Makram said in a Facebook post.

Makram also urged on Tuesday all Egyptian students in Ukraine to register on a standardised form to list their needs and demands, pointing out that so far 1,900 Egyptian students have done so.

The form, which was created in cooperation with Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, will allow all concerned authorities and bodies to coordinate accordingly, according to a statement by the emigration ministry.

On Saturday, Egypt’s embassy in Budapest said Egyptian authorities will send two daily flights to Hungary until Friday to repatriate citizens.

Nationals who are fleeing Ukraine and wish to return to Egypt should contact the Budapest embassy at +36307083220 or +36303404811 and send a soft copy of their passports via WhatsApp to the same numbers, the embassy said.

Egyptian nationals will also have to submit proof of coronavirus vaccination with a QR code or negative PCR or antigen test results before travelling.

Furthermore, Egyptian nationals who lived in Ukraine and are married to non-Egyptian women will be allowed to bring their spouses to Egypt after submitting marriage certificates and relevant travel document to the Egyptian embassy in Kyiv or at the airport, the embassy said.

The Russian invasion of Ukrainian territories has killed hundreds of Ukrainian civilians and forced 2 million people to flee the country as of Tuesday.

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