US ‘Disappointed’ with Egypt for Denying Entry to US Scholar

“We are disappointed at the government in Egypt’s decision to deny entry to Ms Dunne,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Saturday.

US scholar Michele Dunne was denied entry to Egypt last week at Cairo International Airport. Egypt’s state-owned news agency MENA initially reported that Dunne was denied entry to the country for “security reasons.” However, Egypt’s foreign ministry later released a statement saying that Dunne didn’t have a non-tourism visa.

Spokesperson Psaki said in a presser that Dunne’s case was raised with the Egyptian government, but that it is their understanding that she’s not banned from entering Egypt.

“We think discouraging travel to Egypt sends exactly the wrong signal to the international community,” Psaki added.

Dunne, a senior associate in the Middle East Programme of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, landed in Cairo from Istanbul to attend a conference of the government-endorsed Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.

The executive manager of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Ameen Shalabi, said in a phone interview with satellite channel Al-Hayat 2 that Dunne was invited to listen to the objective opinions of numerous Egyptian experts, and said he feared that the entry refusal, especially given that she was the only researcher critical of authorities, out of 20 invited to the conference, would make her more aggressive in her criticisms of Egypt’s post-Morsi roadmap.

Dunne’s research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as US foreign policy in the Middle East, according to her institutional biography.

Source: Ahram Online