Egypt has barred an Israeli hematology expert from attending an international conference set to take place this month in Cairo despite the longstanding peace treaty between the two nations.
Dr. Uri Seligsohn, Professor of Hematology at Tel HaShomer's Sheba Medical Center, has been unable to obtain a visa from the Egyptian government in order to attend the conference, scheduled for May 22-25. It was Seligsohn who had supported a decision to approve Cairo as the location for the meeting site, two years ago.
He is chairman of the Education Committee of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), the organization that is sponsoring its 56th Scientific and Standardization Committee (SSC) meeting, which he intended to attend.
The professor told the Hebrew-language Ma'ariv newspaper over the weekend that at the time, he “thought that there were ties of peace and friendship between Israel and Egypt,” and that “with the help of the conference we would be able to develop the Egyptian medical system – but unfortunately I was wrong.
“Apparently the Egyptians are uncomfortable that a Jew and an Israeli doctor should come to their conferences.
“Since it became known that the Egyptians refuse to approve my entry there has been a tremendous commotion among researchers and doctors around the world,” he said, according to IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis), which translated the report. “I know of many researchers who have canceled their attendance at the conference. The management of the organization has announced that this move will have serious ramifications for scientists in Egypt.”