A total of 500 Egyptians have not been allowed to enter Libya and are being deported for possessing invalid visas.
More than half of them have already returned to Egypt and the rest are set to arrive Sunday morning.
Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Abdel Aziz Fadel instructed officials at the Civil Aviation Authority to oblige the Egyptian and Libyan private airline carriers which took the Egyptians to Libya to provide them with seats on flights returning to Egypt, state-run MENA reported.
Fadel also gave instructions to Egypt’s national airline EgyptAir to provide around 30 remaining passengers with support and meals until they get seats on return flights.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy was hosted by Libyan counterpart Mohamed Abdulaziz earlier this month and the two discussed “expanding economic, trade, cultural and security relations.”
In April, a foreign ministry official said over 4,000 Egyptians entered Libya illegally this year. Egyptian fishermen also violate Libya’s waters for fishing purposes, due to the shortage of fish in Egypt’s water. In March, over 250 Egyptians were deported by Libyan authorities in a crackdown on illegal migrants.
In addition to illegal immigration into Libya, the Egypt-Libya border is often used for weapons smuggling into Egypt. An April UN report stated that the weapons that were used in the Libyan Revolution were being funneled into other regions at an alarming rate, with Egypt and the Sahel region receiving the most significant amounts.
The two neighbours had signed a military cooperation agreement in April which tackles border security issues which include illegal immigration and fishing as well as illegal smuggling of weapons.