US embassy warning over Giza pyramids is baseless: Minister

Ahram Online, Saturday 1 Jun 2013

Minister of Antiquities Ahmed Eissa makes his case in a press statement that the Giza pyramids are safe for tourists

Tourists walk past the pyramids in Giza (Photo: Reuters)

The US embassy warning claiming the Giza Pyramids was not safe for tourists is baseless, says Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Ahmed Eissa in a press statement on Saturday, as neither his ministry nor the tourism police have received any complaints from visitors.

The US embassy in Cairo warned US nationals in Egypt on Friday to exercise caution and avoid visiting the Giza pyramids.

The message, sent via email, noted that the embassy had become aware of an increasing number of incidents of "criminal conduct" in and around Egypt's Giza Plateau area.

Eissa further argued that a group of over one thousand students from the American College of Cairo in the Maadi suburb just visited the Giza pyramids on Friday, underlining that among them were US citizens. The visit was part of the students’ graduation ceremony and went smoothly until the end, the minister’s statement assured.

He added that the number of visitors increased by 10 percent this year in comparison to 2012, reflecting that Egypt's security is improving.

The minister assures there is continuous cooperation between the ministry and police to guarantee that tourist areas are well-secured.

In conclusion, Eissa urged all tour guides to head to the nearest police station or any security guards in the vicinity if any problem occurs.

The US embassy statement claimed that a lack of adequate security at the pyramids heightens fears of possible violence.

The warning comes at a sensitive time for Egypt, when local tourism industry has been suffering from post-revolution political unrest.

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