Egypt launches air bridge to repatriate expats arriving in European states from Ukraine

Ahram Online , Thursday 3 Mar 2022

Egypt has launched an air bridge to repatriate expats who crossed borders from Ukraine to neighbouring European countries, Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram said on Thursday.

Nabila Makram
Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram. File photo

“Our sons in the western cities in Ukraine are now moving along the borders with Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary to Egypt, God willing,” Makram said in a post on her Facebook account.

Egypt launched the air bridge as a cooperative effort between the ministries of civil aviation and foreign affairs as per the directives of the leadership, the minister said.

Egyptian nationals in the eastern cities should be careful while heading from Kharkiv to Cossack Lopan village, and from Sumy city to Sutga city in the direction of Russia, stressing that all nationals heading to these areas should provide their info to the Egyptian Embassy in Moscow on the e-mail: [email protected].

Hundreds of Egyptians, including many students, have arrived in the European countries that lie west of Ukraine in an effort coordinated with the Egyptian foreign ministry, where they are set to be repatriated soon.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine eight days ago, the emigration and expatriate affairs ministry has been working round the clock to coordinate with the Ukrainian authorities to facilitate the exit of Egyptian nationals from the country.

In the past several days, Minister Makram held more than one meeting via video conference with Egyptian expat community in Ukraine to coordinate exit strategies.

The ministry has also coordinated with several of Ukraine's neighbours - Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary - to secure measures to facilitate the entry of Egyptian nationals exiting Ukraine into these countries and safe passage home

In parallel, the Egyptian Embassy in Kyiv has also been working round the clock in issuing safety directives and planning exit routes for the more than 6,000 nationals who lived in Ukraine before the russian invasion.

On Tuesday evening, Air Cairo flew back from Bucharest 175 Egyptian students who had fled from Ukraine into Romania.

On Thursday, Russian and Ukrainian delegations held a second round of peace talks in Belarus, during which they agreed to organise safe corridors for civilians to evacuate and for humanitarian supplies to be delivered.

The details of safe corridors will be made clear shortly, Leonid Slutsky, a senior Russian lawmaker who took part in the talks said.

Neighbouring countries such as Romania and Hungary have received hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees throughout the week, with many thousands more expected in the coming days.

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