Egypt receives first batch of over 3,000 Egyptians stranded in Qatar

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Jun 2020

Egyptian nationals repatriated from Qatar on Monday (Photos: Egyptian Association in Doha)

Cairo International Airport received on Monday the first special flight of the airbridge repatriating over 3,000 nationals stranded in Qatar through Oman’s capital Muscat.

The Air Cairo flight had 174 nationals on board, who were taken from Qatar to a transit in Muscat, from which they were flown to Egypt, Al-Ahram reported.

Egypt announced last week that it will operate 18 special flights starting Monday to repatriate 3,000 nationals stranded in Qatar through Muscat.

Egyptian authorities agreed with the Omani airliner Al-Salam to transport stranded Egyptians in Qatar to Muscat, who would then be taken by Egyptian airliners from Muscat to Cairo.

In late May, dozens of Egyptians stranded in Qatar demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the Egyptian Embassy in Doha demanding to return to Egypt.

Videos of the protests in front of the embassy were circulated on social media.

Egypt’s immigration minister Nabila Makram said earlier this month that Qatari authorities did not take any measures against Egyptians in Qatar and that to the ministry’s knowledge, none of the Egyptian workers' contracts were terminated.

Makram said there are roughly 70,000 Egyptian nationals in Qatar, according to official records, but that the real number probably exceeds 300,000.

There have been no direct flights between Qatar and Egypt since June 2017 when Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut most political, trade and transport ties with the Gulf state over charges it supports terrorism, which Doha has denied.

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