Egypt repatriates 177 nationals from Ukraine via Poland

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Mar 2022

Cairo International Airport received on Saturday morning two Air Cairo flights repatriating 177 Ukraine-based Egyptians, as the Russian invasion of the country entered its 10th day.

Foreign Affairs
Egypt s Ambassador to Warsaw Hatem Tag El-Din and Egyptian students pose for photographs before repatriation to Egypt from Poland. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The repatriated citizens had escaped from Ukraine to neighbouring European countries before they gathered in Poland.

This comes shortly after the Egyptian Cabinet announced that it was sending two Air Cairo planes to repatriate Egyptian students fleeing the conflict.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on Saturday a photo of Egypt’s Ambassador to Warsaw Hatem Tag El-Dine as he bade farewell to the repatriated citizens at Katowice Airport.

Egypt has been pushing forward with efforts to bring home nationals from Ukraine. Prior to the Russian invasion, around 6,000 Egyptians lived in Ukraine, 3,000 of which are students studying in the country’s universities.

Egyptian authorities will send two daily flights to Hungary starting Saturday through Friday to repatriate citizens who crossed the border from Ukraine, Egypt’s Embassy in Budapest said.

Citizens escaping from Ukraine and willing to return to Egypt should contact the embassy on +36 30 708 3220 or +36 30 340 4811 and send a soft copy of their passports via WhatsApp on the same numbers, the embassy said.

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

Furthermore, Egyptian citizens married to non-Egyptian women will be allowed to bring their spouses to Egypt with them after submitting marriage certificates and relevant travel document to the embassy and the airport, the embassy said.

On Friday, Egypt announced plans to repatriate 30 Egyptian expats — most of which are students — who were evacuated from Ukraine to Hungary.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine 10 days ago, the Ministry of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs has been working around the clock to coordinate with Ukrainian authorities to facilitate the exit of Egyptian nationals from the country.

The ministry has also been coordinating with several of Ukraine’s neighbours — Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary — to facilitate the entry of Egyptian nationals exiting Ukraine into these countries and offer them safe passage home

On Thursday, Egypt announced the launching of an air bridge to repatriate expats who crossed the borders from Ukraine to neighbouring countries.

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

The Russian invasion, which has drawn international condemnation and western sanctions on Russia since its start on Thursday 24 February has caused hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine.

As of Saturday, Russia declared a ceasefire to allow the opening of humanitarian corridors for civilians to leave the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha, Russian state-owned RIA Novosti reported, citing the Russian defence ministry.

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