Former Prime Minister Shafik deported from the United Arab Emirates arrives in Egypt: family, sources –

Former Prime Minister Shafik deported from the United Arab Emirates arrives in Egypt: family, sources


CAIRO (Reuters) – Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who last week announced his plans to run for president, was deported from the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, his family said, and arrived in Cairo hours after.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Abu Dhabi on February 6, 2013. REUTERS / Jumana El Heloueh / Photo File

Shafik, a former commander of The air force and government minister was seen as the strongest potential opponent of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected to run for a second term next year.

With airport security up, Shafik landed in a private plane at the Cairo airport on Saturday night, airport sources said.

A Reuters witness at the airport said Egyptian authorities escorted Shafik in a convoy waiting for him outside the airport.

Shafik's whereabouts are unknown, his family said hours after he left the airport, and officials did not issue a statement about his location.

The UAE news agency WAM said that Shafik left the Emirates, an ally of the Sisi government, for Egypt without giving any details about why or how he left. He said that his family had stayed in the Emirates.

Shafik's daughter, May Shafik, told Reuters that the authorities had come to look for him at his house and had sent him to Cairo.

"We were about to travel to France, they came and took him, they deported him in a private plane, they said he would be deported to Egypt," May said.

"Just because he announced that he will run for the presidency, he was deported to Egypt and I do not know what they will do with him," he said.

A Gulf source familiar with the matter said earlier: "Shafik has publicly requested to go to Egypt and his wish will be fulfilled."

Shafik's lawyer on his Facebook page also said that he had been taken from the family home.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: Flyers of the Egyptian presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq are seen on the ground outside the headquarters of his campaign in Cairo, Egypt May 28, 2012. REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh / File photo


A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt did not immediately respond to a call seeking details. But an Egyptian judicial source said that Shafik was not wanted in any criminal case at this time, but that he had several cases, including corruption, against him in the past that ended in acquittal or were withdrawn.

"We have no information about a deportation order," said the judicial source.

Shafik said on Wednesday he would run for president in a surprise announcement from the United Arab Emirates, where he relied.

Several other low-profile candidates have said they will also appear.

Shafik narrowly lost Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 2012 elections in Egypt before fleeing abroad.

May Shafik said on Friday that he was preparing to leave, first for Europe and the United States before returning to Egypt to begin his campaign.

He said that Shafik had been prevented from leaving the United Arab Emirates in earlier days, but that he had been badured later that he could travel freely. She did not specify who gave the guarantees. The United Arab Emirates refused to place movement restrictions on Shafik.

The UAE has officially kept silent about Shafik's candidacy announcement.

Sisi, as a military commander, led the overthrow of former President Mursi in 2013, before his own crushing election a year later. Sisi supporters see it as the key to stability after the revolt that followed the 2011 Egyptian revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

But his government is fighting a persistent Islamist militant insurgency in the Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms over the past year to revive the economy, but critics say it has dented its popularity.

Reports by Amina Ismail, additional reports by Ahmed Mohamed Hbadan, Abdel Nbader Aboul Fadl and Ali Abdelaty .; edition of Patrick Markey, Richard Balmforth and Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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