Monday, January 31, 2011

U.S. State Department Assists Americans Seeking to Evacuate from Egypt

"First Americans evacuated from Egypt"
By the CNN Wire Staff
January 31, 2011
"Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- The first of two charter planes carrying U.S. citizens out of chaotic Egypt landed Monday in Cyprus, the beginning of what could be a lengthy evacuation effort amid escalating unrest across the country...

With at least 2,400 people seeking evacuation as of Monday morning, getting all Americans out of the country could take some time, said Janice Jacobs, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for consular affairs.

"People should be prepared for a very long wait," Jacobs said.

The U.S. flights were part of a broadening effort by governments around the world to transport their citizens out of Egypt, where widespread demonstrations against the government have led to clashes between protesters and police, looting and other dangers.

So far, at least Canada, Australia, Thailand, Turkey, India and Israel have staged or announced evacuation flights. Mexico has also urged its citizens to consider leaving Egypt...

The State Department said Americans seeking flights out of the country should make their way to Cairo International Airport's HAJ Terminal 4, where U.S. government officials will arrange charter travel out of the country.

The flights will head to Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, according to the State Department...

Those seeking evacuation will be asked to sign documents promising they will reimburse the government for the flights, the State Department said.

Exact costs hadn't been determined, but a State Department official said the cost should be comparable to a one-way commercial flight from Egypt to the evacuation points. Citizens will be responsible for arranging their own travel from there, according to the government."

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