US, Canada, Aus­tralia to their cit­i­zens: Be care­ful dur­ing Egyp­tian elec­tion

Safety sit­u­a­tion is good, but Alexan­dria ex­plo­sion raised fears, says ex­pert

The Daily News Egypt - - Business - By Hagar Omran

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

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