Cairo, 24 May:
The head of the passports department at Cairo International Airport, Majdi Samman, has said that Egyptian workers will not . . .[restrict]be allowed to go to Libya on group visas unless the visas containing their names have been individually approved by the Libyan embassy in Egypt by a signature. Otherwise there would have to be separate visas for every individual.
Samman said that this decision was to help protect the Egyptian workers themselves and ensure they were not subsequently deported on arrival.
The move follows the refusal by the Libyan authorities to allow 154 Egyptian workers into Libya on Tuesday despite the fact that they they were on a group visa; they had to fly back to Egypt on the same plane. Back in Cairo, the workers threatened to protest at the airport but the security authorities convinced them to leave and told then that the foreign ministry would handle their issue.
Both the Egyptian foreign ministry and Libyan embassy, Sammam said, were working on the problem. They were looking into either approving group visas or issuing new individual ones. He added that in case of any delays, carriers had agreed to transport fly anyone affected on their existing airline ticket without any additional charges.
He also called on the Libyan authorities to make public the rules on visas, given that the workers who had been refused entry had a valid group visa when they arrived in Libya.