President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan ordered the release of 103 Egyptian prisoners on Monday. The Egyptians were held under various charges and the UAE government vowed to financially compensate the prisoners for costs incurred as a result of the sentences.
State-owned Emirates News Agency proclaimed that Al-Nahyan had ordered the release in order to give the detainees “an opportunity to start a new life and end the suffering of their families”.
Egyptian ambassador to the UAE Tamer Mansour welcomed the decision, saying it confirmed the depth of historical relations between the two countries. He also told state-owned Al-Ahram that he hoped it would mark progress in the relationship between the two nations.
Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Al-Asheery visited Dubai in January, heading a delegation that spoke with various UAE ministries. The talks focused on the status of Emirati and Egyptian expatriates, and the Egyptian side requested that the arrest of any Egyptian in the UAE be made known to the Egyptian embassy in accordance with international conventions.
At the end of last year, 11 Egyptians were arrested and accused of leading a Muslim Brotherhood cell posing a threat to the country’s security. They were not among those released on Monday.