UAE imposes travel ban on former Egyptian Prime Minister

- UAE imposes travel ban on former Egyptian Prime Minister.

- Shafiq is aiming to run for the next Presidential elections in Egypt.

- Thanks the UAE for their hospitality but criticises the ban on his travel.
Former Prime Minister of Egypt  Ahmed Shafiq has disclosed that the United Arab Emirates where he has resided since the 2012 unrest in Egypt has imposed
a travel ban on him that prevents him from leaving the country.

"I was surprised to know that I am prevented from leaving the UAE for reasons that I don’t understand and I am not willing to understand," he said.

"I have announced my intention to run the upcoming presidential elections and I was planning to start a tour among the Egyptian communities living abroad before going back to Egypt in the next few days," he said.

In the video message, Shafiq thanked the UAE for hosting him, but was also critical of the travel ban.

"I have often stated my appreciation for the UAE for hosting me," he said.

"However, I reject any intervention in Egypt's affairs by preventing me from participating in a constitutional right and a holy mission to serve my country. I call on the UAE leaders to order the lifting of any restrictions on my ability to travel."

Samer Shehata, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, USA, says it is unknown if Sisi is behind Shafiq's travel ban.

"It is not clear if Sisi or the Egyptian government is behind this move," Shehata told Al Jazeera from Norman, Oklahoma.

He said Shafiq's inability to leave the UAE is to the advantage of Sisi and also benefits the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are among the staunchest supporters of the current Egyptian president, so they have an interest in Sisi continuing.

"They are in favour of Sisi staying in power and not in seeing [the appearance of] any potential challengers."

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