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Is it safe to travel to Egypt? An expert says it’s a good time to go

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Is it safe to travel to Egypt? One expert told Bloomberg radio on Sunday that the it is safe to travel to Egypt and that tourists will be faced with light crowds at museums and other top attractions in the country.

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Angus Blair of the Signet Institute said that some of the cautions about visiting Egypt have been too conservative.

Signet states on its Web site that it “was founded to provide continuing information on the business environment of the Middle East and North Africa to global businesses to better understand the MENA region and to be better informed ahead of investing in the region and as they remain investors.”

State department warning

But the US State Department is not so enthusiastic.

In a warning the State Department last month, the agency said in part:

“The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travelling to Egypt and strongly advises U.S. citizens to defer all but essential travel because of the continuing political and social unrest. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on August 15, 2013.

“Based on an assessment of the current security situation in Egypt, the Department of State lifted the ordered departure status for U.S. Embassy personnel on November 6, 2013. The Department has not lifted the ordered departure status for U.S. Consulate General Alexandria personnel.

“Political unrest, which intensified prior to the constitutional referendum in December 2012, the anniversary in 2013 of Egypt's 25th January Revolution, and the July 2013 change of government, shows little sign of abating. Demonstrations have, on numerous occasions, degenerated into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, and between protesters supporting different factions, resulting in deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage. Participants have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails and security forces have used tear gas and other crowd control measures against demonstrators. There have been instances of the use of firearms as well. While most violent protests have occurred in major metropolitan areas, including downtown Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, and Port Said, there are recent reports of more widespread political and social violence, including armed attacks, in other areas of Egypt. Of continued concern is gender-based violence in and around protest areas where women have been the targets of sexual assault.”

To summarize, although some say it is safe to travel to Egypt now, the official advice from the US Government is to avoid non-essential travel there.

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