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Canada shuts down Cairo embassy due to security threats

Protesters against Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo January 27, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

BRIGITTE PELLERIN | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA - The Embassy of Canada in Cairo is closed Monday due to the deteriorating security conditions in that country.

"We take the safety and security of our personnel abroad very seriously," said Rick Roth, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi declared a state of emergency on the weekend for three cities on the Suez Canal, where demonstrations and civil unrest have killed dozens of people.

Canadian officials urge travellers to Egypt to "exercise a high degree of caution due to the unpredictable security situation and continued demonstrations throughout the country."

Foreign Affairs also advises Canadians against all travel to Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, along with the Sinai Peninsula, except for some coastal resorts.

"Canada condemns the violence throughout Egypt and we call for calm," Roth said. "Canada encourages those in power to safeguard the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights, respect for religious freedoms, and the rule of law for all Egyptians."

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