A member of the Defense and National Security Committee in the Egyptian House of Representatives Yahya al-Kedwani said that Egypt has adhered to the Refugee Convention since the 1950s, and keeps its doors wide open out of consideration for humanity.
During a telephone interview with the privately-owned Sada el-Balad TV channel on Tuesday, Kedwani assured that Egypt is eager in this regard and continues to do so.
It will not establish special shelter camps for refugees, he added.
He noted that the Cabinet issued a decision to audit the numbers of those in Egypt illegally so that they can apply to issue a residency card and pay fines amounting to US$1,000, which are to be transferred to one of the approved banks.
Kedwani said that Egypt has the right to know the number of foreigners residing on its territory and be aware of their activities.
He noted that the International Organization for Migration, affiliated with the United Nations, has confirmed that there are nine million refugees residing in Egypt, all of whom enjoy the same benefits as Egyptian citizens.
Kedwani said that this matter will increase Egypt’s income in foreign currencies that the country needs, and “this is our right.
The rationing period is three months, he added, which began in January and will end in March.
The Egyptian Cabinet issued a decision last year stipulating that foreigners applying for the right of residence for tourism or non-tourism purposes must submit a receipt indicating that they have transferred residency fees, late fines, or costs of issuing a residency card in US dollars or the equivalent in foreign currencies, through certified banks or exchange companies.
Foreigners residing in the country illegally must regularize their status and legalize their residency so long as they have an Egyptian host, in exchange for depositing administrative expenses equivalent to US$1,000 at an Egyptian bank.