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Tension grips Egypt

Filed on June 29, 2013
Tension grips Egypt

After violence that killed three people, including an American student, Egypt was on edge as protesters prepared for rallies on Sunday they hope can unseat the Islamist president.

The army was on alert across the country and warned it would step in if deadlocked politicians lost control of the streets.

The United States, which has called for compromise, is evacuating non-essential diplomatic staff and warning citizens to avoid Egypt.

A source at Cairo airport said dozens of US personnel and their families left for Germany on Saturday.

US President Barack Obama called on Egypt’s government and opposition to engage each other in constructive dialogue and prevent violence spilling out across the region.

“Every party has to denounce violence,” Obama said at the other end of Africa, in Pretoria. “We’d like to see the opposition and President Mursi engage in a more constructive conversation about how they move their country forward because nobody is benefiting from the current stalemate.”

In Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged Emiratis not to travel to Egypt at the present unless necessary.

It also called on Emiratis in Egypt to avoid places of gatherings and demonstrations, urging them to speed up procedures of departure given the political instability in Egypt.

Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Butti Al Hamed, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the UAE Embassy in Cairo has set up an operations room that would work around the clock to connect with the citizens in Egypt, and provide them with instructions to facilitate their immediate departure.

The embassy has allocated the following emergency helpline numbers: 0020224156400 or 00201111115911.

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