Egypt's El-Sisi greets freed Ethiopian workers fleeing Libya at airport

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 May 2015

The Ethiopian workers are the first batch to return through Cairo from crisis-hit Libya, after 30 were killed in April

Sisi welcomes fleeing Ethiopians upon their arrival at Cairo airport on May 7, 2015 (Photo: State TV)

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Thursday personally received the first batch of Ethiopian ‎workers to return from Libya through Egypt at Cairo International Airport. ‎

“Egypt was worried about our Ethiopian brothers after the criminal slaying [of Ethiopian ‎workers] that took place a few days ago, and what we wanted most is for our ‎Ethiopian brothers to return home safely”, El- Sisi said as he met the 27 workers at the capital's airport.

Up to 30 Christian Ethiopian workers were killed by the armed Islamic State group in ‎April.‎

Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom met the Egyptian president in Cairo earlier this ‎week to discuss facilitating the return of Ethiopian workers willing to leave Libya.‎

The 27 Ethiopian workers, all Christian, had been detained in Libya and were released after intense negotiations with different forces on the ground, a military source told Ahram Arabic news website, denying that "any military intervention had taken place”.

“Ethiopia will continue its efforts to facilitate the return of Ethiopians from Libya,” ‎Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said on his official website a day earlier.‎

On 7 May, 13 Ethiopians arrived in Khartoum in the first successful evacuation of ‎more than 300 Ethiopian workers who registered to leave the troubled country through ‎coordination between Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Libyan government.‎

Ethiopia does not share any borders with the crisis-hit north African country, ‎but many workers travel illegally to Libya, through Egyptian or Tunisian borders ‎looking for a job. ‎

The relationship between Cairo and Addis Ababa has greatly improved in the last ‎couple of years due to a change in Egyptian diplomacy that now prefers to ‎consolidate ties with Ethiopia. Relations between both countries were tense, especially ‎after Ethiopia started building the Renaissance Dam on the Nile river. ‎

Short link: