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Urgent measures for repatriation of Tunisians from Egypt

Published the:  30/01/2011

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CAIRO - January 30, 2011 – TAP - Tunisia's ambassador in Cairo Mongi Bedoui announced that the embassy had taken urgent steps to secure the repatriation of tunisian expatriates in Egypt and provide them with the necessary assistance.
Asked by TAP news agency over the phone, the ambassador said that the members of the Tunisian community in Egypt were living in anxiety and uncertainty after the events shaking Egypt these last days and the problems relating to Egyptian carrier ''Egypte Air'' which did not schedule any flights to Tunis.
He said that efforts are being made to solve these problems through scheduling a flight of carrier ''Tunis air'' tomorrow evening to bring home 240 people, adding that the tunisian carrier is ready to review the schedule of its flights from Cairo.
The ambassador also spoke of the measures taken to find solutions for the passengers who booked their return flights with the Egyptian carrier and want to return home on board Tunis air flights, deploring in this regard the lack of agreement between the two carriers in this respect.
He stressed that in light of his telephone calls and the information he has, it seems that the members of the tunisian community living notably in Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh and other Egyptian provinces, have suffered no damage. However, he added that there were difficulties to provide social assistance to those who need it because the Egyptian authorities had decided to close banks.
Besides, the ambassador said that the members of the Tunisian community in Egypt who number between 3500 and 4000 , had joined the Egyptian people as part of popular committees to defend themselves, noting that Tunisia's embassy in Cairo remained open everyday to issue visas and passports to the citizens concerned.
Tunisian expatriates in Egypt are shared out into two groups: permanent residents, notably in the cities of Marsa Matrouh, Hamam and Alexandria or people enjoying temporary stay as part of studies, tourism or experts within regional and international organizations.