Egypt calls U.S. security warning to tourists ‘unjustifiable’

by WorldTribune Staff, October 9, 2016

Government officials in Cairo are fuming over the “unjustifiable” decision by the U.S. to issue a travel warning for tourists visiting Egypt this weekend.

The U.S. embassy warned tourists against being in public spaces in Egypt such as concert halls, movie theaters, museums, shopping malls, and sports venues.

City Stars shopping mall in Cairo.
City Stars shopping mall in Cairo.

Oct. 6 was Armed Forces Day, a public holiday in Egypt. The Egyptian weekend is Friday and Saturday.

The U.S. cited “potential security concerns” as the reason for issuing the warning, but did not specify what they were.

“The foreign ministry spokesman has conveyed his annoyance at the warning released by the United States embassy in Cairo to Americans,” the ministry said in a statement. “[This] raises questions over the reasons this statement was released in such a way.”

The ministry said it had contacted the U.S. embassy over the warning and that it had been told there were no specific reasons or threats behind the move.

The foreign ministry cautioned all embassies in Egypt against “releasing unjustified” warnings. The British and Canadian embassies had issued similar warnings to avoid public gatherings until Oct. 9 but were not specifically mentioned in the statement.

Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’s (ISIL’s) Egyptian branch, Sinai Province, has killed hundreds of soldiers and police, dampening the recovery of tourism after a 2011 uprising drove away tourists, a major source of hard currency.