UK Ambassador to Cairo, John Casson, last week visited the governorate of Minya in Upper Egypt to mark the lift of travel restriction by the UK on Central and Upper Egypt. Mr Casson met Minya Governor Salah Ziyada and visited tourist sites in the area during his first official visit to Upper Egypt. He met and talked to the local residents in the area.
The travel ban was enforced following the spread of nationwide violence that swept the country once the Islamist regime of previous president Muhammad Mursi was overthrown in July 2013.
“Casson’s visit will have a strong focus on creating opportunities for all Egyptians,” read a Saturday statement from the British embassy. “He will see how UK-funded projects are supporting small social enterprises and empowering women in Upper Egypt.”
Speaking ahead of his visit, Casson said his country is looking to support Egypt to achieve “a more stable, prosperous and democratic country”. He continued that the UK aims to help all Egyptians, “Not just men, women too. Not just older generations but young people also”.
Casson stressed a need for a revitalised approach, saying: “Diplomats should not just sit around in Cairo talking. We need practical action. And we need to listen to Egyptians of every background”.
The UK Foreign Office currently advises its citizens “against all travel” to North Sinai “due to the significant increase in criminal activity and continued terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths”.
In addition, UK citizens are advised “against all but essential travel” within 50km of the Libyan border, “the area west of the Nile Valley and Delta Regions, excluding Siwa, Fayoum and the coastal areas”, and to South Sinai with the exception of Sharm al-Sheikh.
2 December 2014