Minister Cannon Updates Canadians on Evacuation Plans from Egypt

(No. 40 – January 31, 2011 – 8:45 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding details of arrangements being made to evacuate Canadian citizens from Egypt:  

"The Government of Canada is offering chartered flights for individuals wishing to be transported out of Egypt. These flights will take them to locations in Europe such as London, Paris or Frankfurt. Canadian citizens are required to make their own onward travel plans from these locations.

"Canadian citizens in Egypt wishing to be evacuated should contact the Canadian Embassy in Cairo at 20 [2] 2791-8700 or call collect to the DFAIT Emergency Operations Centre at 613-996-8885.

"Flights to evacuation points will begin departing today, and priority will be given to people holding a Canadian passport and their immediate family, defined as a spouse and children.

"Canadian citizens eligible to travel must ensure that proper documentation is presented. Immediate family members who are not Canadian citizens must provide documentation for entry into the destination country and proof of family relationship.

"Passengers will be required to sign an undertaking with the Government of Canada agreeing to repay the costs related to evacuation. It should be noted that only one piece of luggage will be allowed per passenger.

"The government is looking for options for flights to evacuate Canadians from cities other than Cairo. Individuals located outside of Cairo are advised not to try to make their way to Cairo, for safety reasons. Canadians with existing travel plans should contact their airlines and confirm their travel status.

"The Government of Canada's priority is the safety of Canadian citizens in Egypt.

"We have ensured that additional personnel are being deployed to Egypt and to the receiving destinations in Europe to assist Canadians. There has been an increase in staff at the Emergency Operations Centre to answer the high volume of calls.

"Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Egypt should contact DFAIT's Operations Centre by calling 1-800-606-5499, or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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