By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 2 November 2014:
Officials at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport refused entry to about 600 Egyptians on Saturday, sending them . . .[restrict]straight back to Egypt because they did not meet the new visa requirements instituted by Libya Dawn’s National Salvation Government.
Libya has refused entry to large groups of Egyptians in the past because of forged and expired documents, but it is believed that the recent mass deportation was due in part to the Egyptian government’s support of the House of Representatives and Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni.
Libya Dawn, whose antigovernment has taken over Tripoli and is in control of Mitiga Airport, is at odds with Cairo because of the group’s Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist links. For its part, the antigovernment has accused Egypt of having intervened in Libya’s internal affairs by flying repeated airstrikes over military targets in Tripoli and in Benghazi.
Egypt has denied having carried out the airstrikes, but has openly supported the Libyan National Army, under the authority of the House of Representatives, in its fight against the militants, particularly in eastern Libya.
Egypt, along with the rest of the international community has repeatedly said that the House of Representatives is Libya’s legitimate government and has refused to recognise Libya Dawn’s National Salvation Government, although Turkey Special Envoy met with Hassi last month.
Concerned about the spread of terrorism across the border, Egypt has tightened visa rules for Libyan men and banned Libyan airline companies from flying in and out of Cairo airport. Egypt Air stopped all flights to Libya indefinitely in July when the battle for the Tripoli International Airport began.
Although some 40,000 Egyptian workers reportedly have been evacuated to Tunisia because of security concerns, new Egyptians in search of employment continue to find ways of entering the country. According to Libyan Ambassador to Egypt Mohammed Fayez Jibril, there are still approximately 1.5 million Egyptians in Libya. [/restrict]