News

Qatar Threatens to Ban Entry Visas for Egyptian “Enemies”

Qatar Threatens to Ban Entry Visas for Egyptian “Enemies”

Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

At an event promoting a summer tourism campaign in Qatar, Secretary General of the Gulf state’s National Tourism Council and CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar al-Baker, announced that Qatar would no longer grant visas to its “enemies”, referring to Egyptians.

The comment was later retracted by the Qatari government’s communications office, which stated that al-Baker’s remarks did not reflect their official visa policy and that the state welcomes “all people of the world,” according to Reuters.

Al-Baker’s comment, which has sparked outrage across Egypt, comes amid an ongoing political dispute between the two countries, and is the first made by a Qatari official since the rift began nearly two years ago. Since 2017, seven Arab countries including Egypt have cut ties with Qatar, accusing the latter of “supporting terrorism,” an allegation Qatar denies.

Egyptians comprise the largest Arab minority in the small, yet wealthy Gulf state. A private consultancy report released in 2017 estimated their number at 200,000. Qatar has a population of 2.7 million, only 300,000 of which are nationals, according to al-Jazeera.

In the wake of al-Baker’s comments, Egyptian MP Amr Sidqi, head of the parliamentary Foreign Relations and Aviation Committee has demanded an apology from the Qatari government, saying that “the Qatari official’s statement reflects an internal sense of hostility against Egypt.”

For the past two years many Egyptians have been finding the visa process increasingly difficult, the only exceptions being made for specifically approved events or for immediate family members. However, Qatar has not indicated any intention of deporting those Egyptian residents already present in Qatar and their status has not been suggested as endangered by this policy shift.

In 2017, Egypt in turn announced the end of visas for Qatari nationals upon arrival, yet not a complete ban. Exempted from this were to be Qatari nationals with Egyptian mothers, Qataris married to Egyptians, and Qatari students in Egypt.

Egyptian Wins International Thomson Foundation Mobile Journalism Competition
Nature In Crisis: One Million Species At Risk of Extinction, UN Warns

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Egypt’s COVID-19 Cases Reach Over 30,000

Egyptian StreetsJune 5, 2020

Localization of Sustainable Development Goals in Upper Egypt With Investments Worth $3bln

Egyptian StreetsJune 4, 2020

‘We Couldn’t Find One Hospital Bed For Her’: Egyptian Adventurer Omar Samra’s Sister Dies of COVID-19

Egyptian StreetsJune 3, 2020

Kemama Campaign Funds Production of Medical Masks in Upper Egypt

Egyptian StreetsJune 2, 2020

117,000 COVID-19 Cases in Egypt Say Estimates: Minister

Egyptian StreetsJune 1, 2020

Egypt Reports Highest Daily COVID-19 Increase For Fourth Consecutive Day

Egyptian StreetsMay 31, 2020

5 Egyptian Armed Forces Killed or Injured, 19 Terrorists Killed in North Sinai Operations

Egyptian StreetsMay 31, 2020

Police Investigation Confirms Menna Abdel Aziz’s Rape Allegations

Egyptian StreetsMay 30, 2020