Countries evacuate citizens as Egypt crisis worsens

Countries around the globe stepped up evacuation of foreign tourists and workers from Egypt Monday as anti-government protestors called for further pressure to make beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak quit.

In Washington, Assistant Secretary of State Janice Jacobs said at least 2,400 Americans in Egypt have asked US officials for help in leaving as the first 42 landed in Cyprus.

"We want to make sure that anyone who needs our help is getting that, and so, yes, I do expect those numbers to go up over the next few days," she said.

"We are encouraging Americans who want to take advantage of these charter flights to go to the airport, but I should say that people should be prepared for a very long wait," she added.

Chaotic scenes have been reported at Cairo airport with authorities struggling to cope with an influx of thousands of departing passengers.

Turkey said it had brought 1,144 of its citizens home aboard five specially chartered aircraft of Turkish Airlines from Cairo and Alexandria on Sunday night, in addition to 330 flown back at the weekend.

Indonesia ordered its citizens to leave strife-torn Egypt and promised to dispatch military aircraft to bring them home.

More than 6,000 Indonesians are believed to reside in Egypt.

Japan said Monday it was flying emergency charter planes to evacuate hundreds of Japanese, some of whom had already left while many others were stranded at Cairo airport.

Thai Airways planned a special flight to Cairo to repatriate Thai tourists, a statement said, but added there were problems to overcome such as ground servicing and refuelling as it had no regular services to the Egyptian capital.

Air India chartered a plane to bring back 320 Indians and had decided to divert another plane from its regular Mumbai-Jeddah flight to pick up more, Indians, airport sources told the Press Trust of India news agency.

While tour operators in many countries were planning to bring clients on package tours back earlier than scheduled and had cancelled further excursions they said the situation in the main beach resorts on the Red Sea remained calm.

Foreign companies also began bringing home expatriate employees and their families.

France Telecom said Monday it was following the example of other French groups, cement company Lafarge and bank Credit Agricole, and repatriating some 20 people.

Lafarge, which employs 70 expatriates in Egypt, said it was halting cement production in the country, while Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moeller-Maersk also said it was suspending activities in Egypt.

In Germany wholesale distributor Metro said it had brought back 20-30 employees, adding that its two hypermarkets in Cairo had been looted and were closed.

Energy group RWE said it had flown out some 90 people and vehicle maker Daimler "fewer than 50."

Russian companies Lukoil and Novatek were also evacuating staff, but Moscow has given no order for some 40,000 tourists to come home and many were happy to stay on the beach, agencies said.

Saudi Arabia said it organized 33 flights between Saturday and Monday to take its nationals home.

The Canadian government "is recommending that Canadians leave," Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Sunday. Ottawa planned to charter planes to get Canadians to evacuation points in Europe, possibly beginning Monday.

Britain was advising its nationals to leave flashpoint Egyptian cities, but tour operators stressed there was no need to pull tourists out of popular Red Sea resorts.

"We do want people to take the opportunity if they are able to leave... but as yet the situation has not reached the stage where we would necessarily be considering chartering planes and getting larger numbers out," Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt told the BBC.

France has also warned against unnecessary travel to Egypt, but foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Paris was not yet considering evacuating its roughly 10,000 citizens in the country.

burs/mb/co

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
Jonatahn Sexton scores a penalty
rugby
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?