The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday announced that the decision requiring Syrians to obtain visas in order to enter Egypt is related to “current and temporary” conditions.
In a statement by the ministry, it said that the decision does not affect Egypt’s support of the Syrian Revolution.
“Syrians who live or wish to live in Egypt within a legal framework should keep in mind the security conditions of the country,” read the statement, adding:“the nature of this procedure does not take away from the historic relationship between the Egyptian and Syrian people….”
Ahmad Saleh, the Public Relations Director at Cairo International Airport, said arrivals from Syria used to enter with their passports only. “Now they have to have a visa. Those who do not have it, go back to the country they flew from…” he said.
He said they usually return on the same aeroplane, adding that the procedure is not considered deportation.
He added that this procedure has been in effect for nearly 48 hours.
State-run Al-Ahram reported Wednesday that a flight to Beirut was delayed because eight Syrians who did not meet the new entry requirements were instructed to take the flight, but did not want to leave Egypt.
Media official at the Ministry of Interior Ayman Helmy said that Syrians coming to Egypt are required to have a prior visa and a security approval before they enter. He claimed however, that these procedures have been effect for a long while.
The interior ministry said in a statement on Monday that there is no truth to reports that orders have been given to bar entry of Syrians, and added that there is a “continuation of the rules governing the entry of Syrians as long as they have valid passports, prior visas and security approvals.”
Former president Mohamed Morsi severed diplomatic ties with Syria last month, in addition to closing the Syrian embassy in Cairo, and withdrawing Egypt’s diplomatic mission from Damascus.
Following negotiations between the countries they announced earlier this week their agreement to renew consulate relations, and to reopen the Egyptian consulate in Damascus and the Syrian consulate in Cairo.