US, Canada, Australia to their citizens: Be careful during Egyptian election
Safety situation is good, but Alexandria explosion raised fears, says expert
The United States, Canada, and Australia advised their citizens in Egypt to exercise increased caution during the Egyptian presidential election’s duration, from 26 to 28 March.
“American citizens in Egypt are reminded to monitor the news and exercise increased caution,” said the US Embassy in Cairo in a statement on Sunday.
The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website that terrorist groups have publicly announced that they will carry out attacks in the election period, adding that Canadian citizens should “be extremely vigilant in all public spaces”.
The Australian Foreign Affairs Ministry also warned its citizens, through its Smartraveller website, that “election-related violence could occur between the start of campaigning until the announcement of final results in April/May 2018.”
The ministry also said, “terrorist groups have issued statements threatening attacks against Christians, tourists, and polling stations ahead of the election,” adding that Australian citizens should avoid demonstrations and monitor the media for information on events that may affect their personal safety.
The Australian Foreign Affairs Ministry further said,“the level of our advice has not changed; reconsider your need to travel to Egypt overall, with higher levels applying in some areas,”
Former assistant foreign minister Rakha Ahmed said that the recent explosion in Alexandria is the main factor that pushed the embassies to warn their citizens, adding,“diplomatic missions always issue these warning messages during any gathering event, especially in countries that witness terrorist attacks.”
On Saturday, a bomb placed under a car exploded in Alexandria as the city’s security chief’s convoy passed by, killing two police personnel and wounding four others, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said.
Ahmed noted that the security situation in Egypt is good because there are two candidates in the presidential race, adding that the probability of violence is not high.
“The Chargé d’Affaires at the American Embassy in Egypt Thomas Goldberger visited a polling site on Monday, which is considered a good sign on the safety situation,” said Ahmed.
“As Americans,we are very impressed by the enthusiasm and patriotism of Egyptian voters,” said Goldberger in a social media post on Monday.
American citizens in Egypt are reminded to monitor the news and exercise increased caution, said the US Embassy in Cairo