British embassy in Cairo reopens to the public

2014-12-16 17:35
Security forces are deployed in front of the British embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which had been closed to the public over security concerns. (Ahmed Abd El Latif, AP)

Security forces are deployed in front of the British embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which had been closed to the public over security concerns. (Ahmed Abd El Latif, AP)

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Cairo - The British embassy in Cairo said on Tuesday it has resumed services to the public, nine days after they were suspended over security concerns about the mission's main building.

The Canadian embassy next to the British embassy, which also suspended services, remains shut to the public.

"The British embassy in Cairo resumed public services today, Tuesday 16 December, after security issues related to the building were resolved in cooperation with the Egyptian government," a statement by the mission said.

On 7 December, London closed its embassy to the public for "security reasons", but without specifying what these were.

The Canadian embassy announced the next day that it was doing the same.

Egypt's authorities said they had no reports of any specific threat to the embassies, but diplomats say some missions have raised concerns about the security provided by the host country.

The embassy closures came as militant attacks rock Egypt since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Jihadist groups say such attacks are retaliation for a government crackdown targeting Morsi supporters.

The crackdown overseen by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has left at least 1 400 people dead and thousands jailed.

Dozens of Morsi supporters have also been sentenced to death after mass trials described as the United Nations as "unprecedented" in recent history.

Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was ousted by then army chief Sisi after millions of demonstrators protested against the Islamist's one-year rule.

Sisi was himself elected president in May.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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