Egypt and Syria to keep consulate relations: FM spokesperson

Ahram Online, Sunday 7 Jul 2013

After Morsi cut all diplomatic ties with Syria in June, Egypt's interim government has decided to re-open embassy

Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson announced on Sunday that Egypt and Syria have agreed to keep relations between the two countries on a consulate level, state news agency MENA reported. 

This does not mean restoring full diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

In February 2012, Egypt withdrew its ambassador from Damascus.

In June, former president Mohamed Morsi announced the cutting of all diplomatic ties with Bashar Al-Assad's regime, closing both embassies.  

The ministry spokesperson said that the recent agreement was made to address the needs of Egyptian and Syrian citizens in both countries. 

The countries have agreed to re-open the Egyptian consulate in Damascus and the Syrian consulate in Cairo. 

Until May, the Egyptian embassy in Syria had facilitated the return of over five thousand Egyptians from Syria since the conflict started in 2011.

Meanwhile, Egypt has become home to hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing the ongoing conflict in their country. 

The Egyptian Armed Forces deposed president Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday following nationwide protests which, numbering in the millions, called for his ouster. Judge Adly Mansour, former head of the High Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the country's interim president on Thursday.

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