- Middle East/North Africa
Some 4,000 Egyptian citizens have been evacuated from Syria due to the conflict raging there, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.
The ministry added that only a small number of Egyptian citizens are left in Syria, and that they refuse to leave on their own.
Ali al-Ashry, assistant to the foreign minister for consular affairs and Egyptians abroad, said the Egyptian Embassy in Damascus has evacuated about 80 Egyptian citizens over the past few days, in addition to 11 Syrians who are wives, husbands or children of evacuated Egyptian nationals.
Evacuations have taken place with the cooperation of Syrian and Lebanese authorities. The Egyptian Embassy in Syria has helped Egyptians travel by land into Lebanon to Beirut-Rafiq Hariri International Airport, and Lebanese authorities have agreed to grant Egyptians transit visas.
Egypt withdrew its ambassador to Syria in February to protest the regime's attacks against civilians, after protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.
Egypt has called for an end to the civil war in Syria and has demanded Assad step down.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm