The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday that it is working with the Egyptian embassy in Damascus to repatriate Egyptians who want to leave Syria.
Ambassador Ali Ashiri, the assistant foreign minister for consular affairs, announced the initiative, which started on Tuesday. Twice a month, Egyptian citizens who wish to leave Syria and return to Egypt will be able to travel to Beirut, from where they will be able to take a flight to Egypt.
Ashiri explained that the embassy in Damascus, working with the Lebanese embassy, has gained the approval of Lebanese authorities to allow Egyptian citizens to cross the El Masnaa border into Lebanon.
Egyptian citizens will then be transferred to Beirut and flown to Egypt at the state’s expense, said Ashiri. 14 Egyptians have already undergone this journey.
Nazih El Naggary, deputy spokesperson for the ministry, said that it is difficult to know the exact number of Egyptians currently in Syria. He estimated that approximately 3,000 Egyptians have already left the country.
He said that there are a variety of reasons why some Egyptian citizens are still in Syria.
El Naggary added that the initiative to repatriate Egyptians comes after the ministry identified a clear need for the service.
Last week, state-affiliated Al-Ahram reported that 27 year-old Egyptian activist Mohamed Mehrez was killed in Syria while fighting alongside the Syrian opposition.