Update on the Situation in Egypt
(No. 49 – February 3, 2011 – 4:10 p.m. ET) The following is an edited transcript of a statement made to media by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the situation in Egypt. The statement was made in the foyer of the House of Commons at 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2011:
“The situation in Egypt remains volatile. We will continue evacuation measures today, February 3, 2011. All remaining Canadian citizens who wish to depart Egypt on a Canadian government chartered flight, and who are able to do so, should immediately proceed to the Cairo airport, Terminal 1, departures area, as soon as possible today, February 3. We will continue assisting Canadians as long as the need exists.
“We strongly urge all Canadians to leave Egypt.”
“As you know, yesterday I spoke with my Egyptian counterpart, Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Minister assured me that he would personally ensure Canadians are able to leave safely. I have asked our ambassador in Cairo to follow up on my call with the Minister and ensure that Canadians, particularly Canadian journalists, are guaranteed safety.
“We are particularly concerned at reports of arrests of journalists. All detained journalists should be immediately released and their media equipment returned.
“We were aware earlier today of the detention of two Canadian journalists from The Globe and Mail in Cairo. They have been released. We are aware others have been targeted and intimidated in Cairo from RDI, CBC, CTV and TVA. We are working to ensure their safety and provide consular services to them.
“I also instructed my officials to call in the Egyptian ambassador in Ottawa to express my grave concerns regarding the targeting of foreign journalists and to urge that his government ensure that the army guarantees their safety.
“Yesterday in the House of Commons, during the emergency debate on the situation in Egypt, I reiterated that Canada continues to urge Egypt to improve respect for human rights, in particular freedom of expression and freedom of association. This includes the rights of journalists.
“We continue to follow the situation closely and urge calm.
“I strongly condemn the use of violence by all sides and urge restraint.
“We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured during recent events in Egypt. If the Government of Egypt was in any way involved in instigating attacks on the peaceful demonstrators, it would be unacceptable.”
Civil Unrest in Egypt
Official Government of Canada Warning
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel to Egypt. Canadians already in Egypt should consider leaving.
Advice for Canadians in Egypt
Canadians in Egypt should:
- Call the Embassy of Canada in Cairo at 20 (2) 2791-8700, call collect to the Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa at 00-1-613-996-8885 or 00-1-613-943-1055, or send an e-mail to email@example.com to learn more about chartered transportation options.
- Obtain flight information.
- Register with our Registration of Canadians Abroad service.
- Contact their family in Canada and let them know they are okay.
Canadians and their families who wish to be evacuated should first call collect to the Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa at 00-1-613-996-8885 or 00-1-613-943-1055 or call the Embassy of Canada in Cairo at 20 (2) 2791-8700.
No Canadian government chartered evacuation flight is planned for Friday, February 4, 2011. Canadians needing to depart Egypt on Friday, February 4, can do so by commercial means. Canadian embassy staff will be on hand at the airport to provide assistance as required.
The next Government of Canada chartered evacuation flight will leave Cairo Saturday, February 5, 2011. Seats are available on a cost-recovery basis.
Canadians must respect the curfew in effect from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Departure information may change rapidly due to logistical difficulties.
Consult Flight Information for further details.
Advice for friends and family of Canadians in Egypt
Due to outages in telecommunications, Canadians in Egypt may not be aware that the Government of Canada is chartering evacuation flights. We strongly encourage you to advise your loved ones to contact the Embassy of Canada to Cairo or the Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa (see contact information above).
Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Egypt should contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 1-800-606-5499 or 1-800-387-3124.
Monitor the situation
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