News / Middle East

    Foreign Nationals Evacuated from Egypt

    Passengers wait under large tent set-up in the parking lot outside Cairo's International airport as Egyptians and foreigners prepare to leave Egypt, February 1, 2011
    Passengers wait under large tent set-up in the parking lot outside Cairo's International airport as Egyptians and foreigners prepare to leave Egypt, February 1, 2011

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    Foreign countries are working hard to get their nationals out of Egypt as anti-government protests rage on.

    The U.S. State department says it has already flown over 1,000 Americans out of Egypt and plans to evacuate over 1,000 more in the next couple of days. Those flights have been dropping evacuees off in Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece.

    On Monday night a group of Americans landed in Istanbul, Turkey where they were met by U.S. embassy officials.

    At the airport,  one of the evacuees, Taylor Swift, spoke to reporters. “I just know the embassy thought that we were in danger so they wanted us to evacuate just for our better safety and stuff,” said Swift.

    “16 and 18 year old kids with guns and swords that were guarding our neighborhood, the neighborhood watch which I thought was a very funny, funny phrase for children with swords," said Eric Tragor.

    View the slide show of today's protests



    Anti-government protests have rocked Egypt for over a week now. Most of the Egyptians who are rallying say they want to oust the country’s long time president Hosni Mubarak.

    The U.S. isn’t the only country getting its nationals out. China and Iraq have also begun evacuations, along with other countries including Canada, India, Israel, and Indonesia.

    But some countries, such as European nations Britain, Germany, and France, say as things now stand they have no plans to evacuate their citizens.

    Frances Tuke is a spokesperson for the Britain-based travel agency group ABTA. “The foreign and commonwealth office doesn't feel that that is necessary. No new British nationals are going in to Egypt, into those areas that are being advised against. But there is no need at this point for any mass evacuation,” said Tuke.

    Resorts in the Red Sea are a popular tourist destination for European travelers.

    Tuke says travel agents are still booking flights to spots like Sharm el-Sheikh - around 500 kilometers from Cairo.

    Those holidays actually are going on as normal. There's absolute calm there and in fact there's no sign of any unrest in those particular destinations.

    The Egyptian army pledged on Monday not to use force against demonstrators. On Tuesday hundreds of thousands of protestors flooded the streets of Cairo and thousands more rallied in other major cities around the country.

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