The United States Embassy in Cairo’s Chargé d’Affaires, Thomas H. Goldberger, made a statement Monday saying that the travel alert issued by the US State Department warning potential visitors about traveling to Egypt was ‘inaccurate’ and released without the regard of Egyptian authorities.
Anger in Parliament
According to an official statement, Goldberger’s declarations occurred during a conference with members of the Egyptian Parliament in Cairo on Monday.
Throughout the meeting, multiple MPs communicated their anger with, and rejection of, the travel warning, claiming that it consisted of content meant to discourage US citizens from traveling to Egypt, and deter tourism.
The MPs also voiced their objection to particular terms used in the alert, such as the phrase ‘violent political opposition groups’. They insist that the State Department must ensure that the terminology is clarified, and ‘opposition’ be differentiated from ‘terrorism’.
They also highlighted the possible damaging outcomes that such an advisory may have on tourism in Egypt, the nation’s potential investment prospects, as well as the slander of Egypt’s reputation internationally, explained the Parliament’s media group.
US Embassy Responds
Goldberger himself questioned the use of certain expressions within the travel warning, and affirmed that the Cairo-based embassy was not aware of the alert prior to its release.
“Goldberger said that he will transfer the Egyptian Parliament’s feedback on the recent message to the US administration, we also expressed our disapproval on a US movie [Smash] currently being screened in cinemas, and includes scenes that warn against travelling to Egypt, as it is unsafe,” said Mohamed El Sallab, an MP who was present at the meeting, to Egypt Independent.
The US State Department originally issued the advisory to alert US citizens of possible risks while traveling in Egypt, particularly in key tourism hotspots like Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.
Following the warning, the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry issued their own statement denouncing it on the basis that it contains incorrect information.