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Wednesday, 04 August 2021

Egyptian workers fearful amid Gulf dispute

AP , Tuesday 6 Jun 2017
File photo: A passenger walks in a terminal upon his arrival at Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha Reuters

Egyptian officials say the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors has yet to affect the 300,000 Egyptian workers in the tiny, energy-rich country, amid fears they could be expelled or stranded.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday and have moved to cut off all air, land and sea routes to the country, which they accuse of supporting terrorism, charges Qatar denies.

Egyptian Charge d'Affaires Ihab Abdel-Hamid told The Associated Press he is returning to Egypt on Wednesday after being recalled. EgyptAir, the national carrier, has suspended all flights from and to Qatar.

Abdel-Hamid said "I myself have to find a third country, a transit point tomorrow." Many people are flying back through Kuwait, which has stepped in to mediate the dispute.

Mohammed el-Iraqi, the spokesman for the Egyptian community in Qatar, has told Egyptian media that Egyptians in Qatar panicked when the crisis erupted but that so far it has had no impact on their businesses.

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