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Egypt forms emergency committee to follow up on its nationals in Qatar

The Egyptian community in Qatar is estimated at 300,000 people

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Jun 2017
Manpower minister
File Photo: Egypt's manpower minister Mohamed Saafan (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The Egyptian government established on Monday an emergency committee consisting of five ministries to follow up on the developments of Egypt's decision to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The committee, which includes representatives from the defence, foreign, interior, labour force and immigration ministries, will follow up on any measures related to Egyptians working in the Qatari public or private sector.

“The Egyptian community in Qatar is in a state of instability,” Mohamed El-Iraqi, president of the Union of Egyptians in Qatar, told Ahram Arabic website, adding that there are an estimated 300,000 Egyptians with official residence in Qatar.

El-Iraqi said that he has received calls from Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saffan and Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram to check on Egyptians in Qatar.

El-Iraqi said that the major concern for Egyptians in Qatar now is whether they will be laid off from their jobs, adding that "the statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry caused a lack of understanding of the situation of Egyptians [in Qatar]."

El-Iraqi added that Egyptian embassy in Qatar is preparing to shut its doors, and that a steering committee will see to the affairs of Egyptians in Qatar.

Meanwhile, sources from the Qatar labour ministry said that the ministry has not issued any decision regarding Egyptians in the gulf country.

Al-Ahram cited sources as saying that an agreement signed in 1974 and two memorandums of understanding signed in 2004 and 2007 between the Egyptian and the Qatari labour ministries are so far still in effect.  

Egypt has announced that it will ban flights to and from Qatar starting Tuesday at 6am Cairo local time (4am GMT), and that it will close off Egyptian airspace to Qatari aircraft.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and the eastern-based government of Libya have all cut diplomatic ties over what they say is Doha's support of terrorist organisations such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda, as well as interference in the internal affairs of nations in the region.

Egypt says it took the decision "in light of the continued insistence of the Qatari government to take a stance against Egypt."

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© 2010 Ahram Online.