Africa

DISTRESS OF NATIONS: US orders some of its diplomats to leave Egypt

An Egyptian opposition protester is beaten by supporters of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, as a main raises a brick overhead, in downtown Damietta, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is ordering nonessential U.S. diplomats and the families of all American Embassy personnel to leave Egypt after the Egyptian military removed Morsi and in anticipation of potential violence, a U.S. official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly, said the State Department had placed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on “ordered departure” status for nonemergency staff and dependents all employees. That means that those covered by the order are required to leave the country. It was not immediately clear if an evacuation operation would be mounted or if those departing would use commercial airlines or passenger ships to leave.

Also Wednesday, a U.S.-based international education and training organization said it’s evacuating 18 Arabic language program students from Egypt to Morocco. Armine Poghikyan, of the nonprofit American Councils for International Education in Washington, D.C., said participants in the Arabic Overseas Flagship Program arrived June 21 at Alexandria University for what was to be one year of studies. Officials decided the program needed to move to Moulay Ismail University in Meknes, Morocco, and the students will leave that country by the end of the week.

Eight other University of Michigan students also will be evacuated from The American University in Cairo, University of Michigan officials announced Wednesday afternoon. The seven undergraduate students and one graduate student are expected to leave the city Thursday and ultimately return to the United States.

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