'Somalis traveling from Syria rejected at Egypt airport': Ambassador 17 Oct 17, 2012 - 8:39:15 PM
CAIRO, EGYPT Oct 17 2012 (Garowe Online) - Somalia's ambassador to Egypt Abdullahi Ali Hassan stated that Somalis with correct documentation escaping Syria's increasing violence were sent back to Syria after arriving at the international airport in Cairo, Garowe Online reports.
During a Tuesday interview with Somali satellite station Universal TV, Ambassador Hassan stated that Somalis escaping the war in Syria were told to return to Syria after arriving at Cairo International Airport.
The Ambassador said the Egyptian embassy in Syria issued "valid visas" for a group of traveling Somalis, but Egyptian authorities at the airport in Cairo returned the travelers back to Syria.
Ambassador Hassan requested said he contacted Egyptian authorities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow up on this issue, adding that Egyptian officials had pledged to "follow up" on the matter.
Egypt has attempted to play a intermediary role in the Syria conflict that has continued for 20 months.
Syrians and other nationals escaping the conflict have sought refuge in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq even as far as Egypt.
Although Egypt has opened its doors for Syrian nationals escaping conflict, this incident gives the perception that Egypt has closed its doors for Somalis also escaping conflict, a Somali national living in Cairo told Garowe Online.
Egypt was one of the most pivotal countries in the Arab Spring that swept through North Africa and the Middle East has progressed rapidly despite economic woes.