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Egypt to start issuing visa on arrival for Iranians heading to South Sinai

Egypt’s tourism minister announces easier visa rules, including for visitors from Iran.

Egypt has eased its visa requirements for Iranians as part of a broader package of facilities provided to tourists and amid an easing of political tensions between Tehran and Cairo that has been caused by a rapprochement between Iran and regional bloc of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia.

Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said on Monday that tourists from Iran will be allowed a visa upon arrival when heading only to the South Sinai region of the country through a certified tourist agency.

Issa announced the measure as part of new facilities provided to tourists from China, Iran, India, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and those visiting from the occupied Palestinian territories amid efforts by Egypt to boost its tourism sector.

The announcement was covered in a report published on the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper.

For decades, Egypt has considered tight visa controls on travelers from Iran mainly because regional tensions have affected political relations between the two countries.  

Visa rules were eased for Iranians travelling to Egypt for a short period in early 2010s amid political changes in the country that had been caused by the Arab spring.

The new tourism facilities for Iranians come after Iran and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement in China in early March to restore their diplomatic relations after seven years.

The agreement has helped Iran and other Arab countries in the region to start to mend their strained relations.

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