Foreign Ministry sets new regulations for diplomatic vehicles

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday announced a set of new regulations for vehicles carrying diplomatic license plates to ensure they are not misused.

At a press conference, Ambassador Ashraf al-Kholy, assistant foreign minister for ceremonial affairs, estimated the number of diplomatic cars at 5000.

“The phenomena of illegal trafficking in cars carrying diplomatic plates … has been noticed,” said Kholy. “A number of violations associated with sales and other operations have been monitored, and many brokers benefit from these illegal acts."

He said the new regulations include a requirement for foreign embassies to license their vehicles with diplomatic license plates rather than ordinary ones.

The regulations also ban those not associated with embassies from using diplomatic vehicles.

Kholy pointed to a number of requirements that should be followed, such as obtaining prior approval from the Foreign Ministry before selling diplomatic vehicles. He stressed the need to return diplomatic license plates to the relevant traffic department after selling a vehicle.

The US Embassy reported that three of its vehicles were stolen during the 25 January revolution, Kholy said. News agencies at the time reported that a US Embassy vehicle ran over protesters during protests on 28 January.

In late February 2009, the Egyptian government seized a number of diplomatic cars after discovering that diplomats were allowing celebrities to use them for personal errands.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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