UN Urges Egypt to Lift New Restrictions on Incoming Syrian Refugees

UN Urges Egypt to Lift New Restrictions on Incoming Syrian Refugees

(UPI) New York, June 13 (Petra) — The United Nations refugee agency has urged Egyptian authorities to reconsider new restrictions imposed recently on the entry of Syrians into Egypt after the ouster of President Mohammad Morsi, including the condition to acquire a visa.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed deep concern over the tightening of restrictions which saw Egyptian authorities returning a plane with 100 Syrians on board.

“I appeal to Egyptian authorities, as I did with other governments in the world, to accept and protect all Syrian refugees in their countries,” said UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres, adding that he fully understood challenges that Egypt faced at present.

Security sources at the Cairo airport said earlier that Egyptian authorities had asked the airline companies not to take Syrians on board their flights to Egypt without first acquiring a visa and a security stamp from Egyptian embassies and consulates abroad. The condition was applicable to all Syrians of all age groups.

On Monday, security officials at the Cairo airport ordered a Syrian Arab Airlines plane to return to Latakia with all Syrian passengers on board after the new restrictions came into force.

Egypt is currently home to about 90,000 Syrians registered or awaiting registration as refugees.