Recent travel warning to Egypt is ‘in accurate’: US Head of Affairs

The Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Cairo, Thomas H. Goldberger, announced that the recently issued travel warning from the US State Department regarding travel to Egypt, was ‘inaccurate’ content and was released without any coordination with Egyptian authorities.

According to an official statement released from the Parliament’s Media committee, Goldberger’s statements came during a meeting he held on Monday with a number of Egyptian Parliament members in Cairo.

During the meeting, seven MPs expressed their anger, blame and refusal of the recently issued travel warning, that included a clear deterrent from travel to Egypt, addressed to US citizens.

MPs who met with Goldberger objected to the terms mentioned in the warning such as ‘violent political opposition groups’, insisting the department differentiate between terrorism and opposition.

Moreover, they highlighted that such warnings have a negative effect on tourism for Egypt and the investment atmosphere there, in addition to defaming Egypt’s international reputation, the Parliament’s media committee explained.

Goldberger challenged the use of expressions included in the travel warning, asserting that his embassy did not have any idea about the warning before 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,” MP Mohamed El Sallab, who attended the meeting, told Egypt Independent on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Goldberger informed MPs who attended the meeting, that the ‘Bright Star’ military maneuvers held in the past, suspended in 2009, between Egypt, the US, and other 21 countries, will resume in September.

The US Embassy in Cairo said on its official Facebook page that Goldberger has met with a number of Egyptian Parliament members to discuss enhancing bilateral relations in all fields, however it did not mentioned details of the discussions during the meeting.

In July, The US State Department issued an advisory warning citizens of the risks for traveling to Egypt, due to the presence of IS and other militant groups in the country’s northern region. The warning highlighted the heavy security measures undertaken by the Egyptian government at major tourist sites such as Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada.

The US warning was met by a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry denouncing the warning, as it was based on inaccurate information. The ministry also assigned the Egyptian Embassy in the US with the task of expressing Egypt’s objection to the travel warning.

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