Correction: Egypt waives visa-fee for Syrian refugees

Ahram Online, Monday 22 Jul 2013

Foreign affairs minister Nabil Fahmy waives entry fees for Syrian refugees and promises Syrian National Coalition president Ahmed Jarba to do more in the coming days

Syrian refugees protest for rights in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy said Syrians will be allowed to enter Egypt without paying visa fees starting on Monday, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The move came after Fahmy met with Syrian National Coalition president Ahmed Jarba in Cairo on Sunday.

On 9 July, Egyptian authorities imposed new conditions for admission into the country that made visa and security clearances mandatory for Syrians.

The decision, which coincided with one banning Palestinians from transit in Egypt, came after a number of Syrians were alleged to be carrying weapons and appearing at pro-Morsi rallies.

Prior to the removal of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Syrians were allowed unconditional entry.

During the meeting, Jarba complained to the Egyptian official about the country's recently imposed visa and security restrictions on Syrian refugees who are escaping oppression at the hands of the Assad regime.

Fahmy, in turn,  stressed Egypt’s understanding of the plight of Syrians and reiterated support for their cause. He promised Jarba that Egypt would take more steps to help Syrian refugees in the coming period, according to Ahram Arabic news website.

On Saturday, Fahmy had announced that Egypt will re-examine the decision to sever ties with Syria, which was enforced by Morsi two weeks before his removal.

Syrians have been receiving humanitarian aid in Egypt since the Syrian uprising broke out in March 2011. There are 70,140 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Egypt. The unofficial number of Syrian refugees in the country could be as high as 250,000.

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