Skip to main content

UK Egypt Embassy reopens after undisclosed 'security issues'

UK Foreign Secretary Hammond praised the 'close cooperation' of Egyptian authorities to get the Cairo embassy reopened
Egyptian police officers stand in front of the police academy in Cairo (AFP)

The UK’s embassy in Egypt reopened on Tuesday, nine days after services were suspended due to undisclosed safety concerns over the mission’s main building.

“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 UK government statement read.

The embassy was closed on 9 December and people were warned to stay away from the building in Cairo’s diplomatic quarter. No details were released about the cited “security issues” and Egyptian authorities said they did not have any intelligence about a specific threat.

The Canadian Embassy was also closed, a day later on 10 December, with security reasons cited as the cause. It is yet to reopen.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond praised Egyptian authorities for their work in getting the Cairo embassy reopened.

“I am pleased that the British Embassy in Cairo has today resumed public services in full,” he said. “I am very grateful for the close cooperation from the Egyptian Government which has made this reopening possible.

“Britain and Egypt have strong bonds between our people, essential commercial links, and cooperate closely in a number of areas," Hammond added.

Security in Egypt has plummeted since the 2013 ouster of Muslim Brotherhood leader and former president Mohammed Morsi. Attacks in the North Sinai by groups now affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group have prompted a widespread counter-terror campaign by Egyptian authorities, which has been criticised by locals in the peninsula as having also targeted civilians.

Since Morsi's oust, the former army chief now turned President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has led a huge crackdown against government critics. Tens of thousands of people have been jailed and at least 1,400 killed.

Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death in mass trials criticised by the UN as “unprecedented” in recent history.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.