Canada Shuts Down Cairo Embassy

Canada has shut down its embassy in Cairo as a result of continuing unrest in Egypt.

Rina Tzvi ,

Protesters in Egypt (archive)
Protesters in Egypt (archive)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Canada has shut down its embassy in Cairo as a result of continuing unrest in Egypt.

"As a security precaution and to ensure the protection of all staff, we have closed our embassy in Cairo until further notice," Rick Roth, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, wrote in an e-mail to the Montreal Gazette.

The embassy posted a one-line notice of closure on its website.

"Canada is deeply concerned by reports of violence in Egypt that has claimed a number of lives and left many more persons injured," Roth wrote.

"Dangerous divisions within Egypt threaten its stability and damage its long-term economic prospects."

The embassy is urging visitors to Egypt to exercise a high degree of caution due to what it calls the unpredictable security situation and continued demonstrations.

It advises against travel to the Sinai Peninsula, with the exception of coastal resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh, and also warns against going to Port Said, Suez and Ismailia due to potentially violent demonstrations.

Roth said the safety of Canadian embassy personnel is a key concern.

"We are monitoring events closely and taking appropriate security measures,” he said, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Egypt’s presidency on Tuesday rejected an army ultimatum threatening to intervene if Islamist President Mohammed Morsi does not meet the demands of millions of protesters.

The army statement, which was read out in a televised address on Monday, gave Morsi 48 hours to comply with its call.

“If the demands of the people are not met in this period... (the armed forces) will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation,” the military said.