Egypt expresses dissatisfaction over US travel warning

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Cairo, July 20 (IANS) Egypt admonished on Thursday the US for warning its citizens against travel to the Middle Eastern country because of the threats from terrorists and violent political groups.

In a press statement, Spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zaid said the Egyptian embassy in Washington has handed over a letter of dissatisfaction to the US State Department over the phrasing of its travel warning issued on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The travel warning referred to terrorist acts that occurred years ago, but it did not mention the dates of these incidents, giving a false impression to those who read the warning, said Abu Zaid.

On Wednesday, the US State Department warned US citizens to consider the risks of travelling to Egypt given threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups.

The distinction between terrorist groups and “violent political opposition groups” is unacceptable because any political group using violence is a terrorist group, the spokesman explained.

According to the travel warning, the terrorist attacks could occur anywhere in Egypt, a reference that contradicts with other indications in the warning which also said the Egyptian authorities are tightening security in tourist and strategic areas, the spokesman noted.

Abu Zaid expressed surprise that the US issued such a travel warning against Egypt, but not other countries suffering from similar terror attacks.

Egypt has been facing a rising wave of terrorist activities following the military removal of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Terror attacks, which have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers over the past few years in Egypt, had been concentrated in restive North Sinai before they spread nationwide.

Last week, a man attacked a beach in the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada, killing two German women and wounding four others, including two Armenians and one Czech.

Terror attacks and political turmoil have damaged the country’s once-thriving tourism sector, which used to bring billions of foreign currencies to the state treasury.

–IANS

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