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Australian Current Affairs

Australians warned to get out of Egypt


Riots in Egypt

Riots in Egypt

Australia’s Federal Government is urging hundreds of Australians in strife-torn Egypt to consider leaving.

The Department of Foreign Affairs of Trade (DFAT) says 730 Australians are registered as currently being in the country but estimates the real number is likely to be much higher.

A further 822 Australians have registered plans to travel there in the coming weeks.

“Australians currently in Egypt who are concerned about their safety should now consider leaving,” a DFAT spokesperson said.

“We continue to urge Australians to avoid all demonstrations and protests as they may turn violent and closely monitor media for information on events and developments that may affect their security and safety.”

The warning comes after the Egyptian military ousted embattled President Mohamed Morsi, suspended the Islamist-backed constitution and announced early elections.

The move comes after days of intensifying street protests and bloodshed that have killed almost 50 people.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has also voiced concern over the recent reports.

“I would say on behalf of all Australians we want to see the return of full democratic government in Egypt as rapidly as possible,” Mr Rudd said. “Australians in Egypt should consider leaving now.”

There are no reports of Australians being among those killed or injured.

The Federal Government this week increased its travel advice for Egypt to “Reconsider your need to travel”, the second highest level.

The Australian embassy in Cairo remains open.

“It is monitoring the situation closely, including through discussions with local contacts,” the DFAT spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a US official says the State Department is ordering non-essential US diplomats and the families of all American embassy personnel to leave Egypt in anticipation of potential violence.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the State Department had placed the US embassy in Cairo on “ordered departure” status for non-emergency staff and dependents all employees. That means that those covered by the order are required to leave the country.

It was not immediately clear if an evacuation operation would be mounted or if those departing would use commercial airlines or passenger ships to leave.

If you’re an Australian citizen requiring urgent consular assistance in Egypt:

1. Contact the chancery switchboard on  +202 2770 6600  (this number will provide you with the option to be transferred through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade‘s 24 hour Consular Operations Centre if an Embassy operator cannot answer).

2. Contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24 hour Consular Operations centre direct on  +61 1300 555 135  or  +61 2 6261 3305 .

3. Go to the Australian Consulate: Level 11 World Trade Centre, Corniche El Nil Street, Boulac, Cairo.

Source: Herald Sun – Get out now, Aussie travellers warned
 
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