Egypt deports, bans Galloway from Viva Palestina convoy

Egypt deported British MP George Galloway from the country, declaring him "persona non grata".

Egypt deports, bans Galloway from Viva Palestina convoy

Egypt deported British MP George Galloway from the country, declaring him "persona non grata" on Friday after internationl aid activists who joined him finnally delivered the aid to the besieged Gaza.

But officials denied that they had deported the politician.

A foreign ministry official told Galloway he was no longer welcome before he left Cairo airport for London.

The foreign ministry later issued a statement saying Galloway would not be allowed to return to Egypt, MENA news agency said.

The decision came two days after police threw stones and clashed with activists with the Viva Palestina convoy in the port town of El-Arish, 45 kilometres (30 miles) from the Gaza border.

They had been protesting an Egyptian decision to send some of the convoy's trucks to Gaza through Israel.

A spokeswoman with the Viva Palestina convoy said Galloway had returned to Egypt earlier on Friday after hearing reports that seven members of the convoy had been arrested.

Seven members were arrested during Tuesday's clashes, but police swapped them for four policemen held by the activists. A prosecutor in El-Arish later issued warrants for the arrest of the seven.

Viva Palestina said Galloway and a companion were forced into a van on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing and taken to Cairo airport.

"Galloway was officially deported from Cairo today (Friday), when Egyptian plain-clothes police officers bundled him onto a London plane," the statement said.

The convoy was held up for over one week in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba after Egypt refused it entry through the southern Sinai, a shotcut to Gaza.

The convoy was forced to travel to the Syrian port of Latakia and take a ferry to El-Arish on Egypt's Mediterranean coast.

Egypt at last allowed most of the convoy and Galloway to enter Gaza after the clashes.



Agencies

Related news report:

Hamas leader hails Gaza aid convoy, sends letter to Turkish PM

Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2010, 15:16
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