A Swedish diplomat was denied entrance into Egypt this week upon arrival at Cairo International Airport.
Anne Madeleine, who is an employee of the Swedish embassy in Turkey, did not have the proper entry visa required for diplomats, a security source told local media. Although Madeleine had submitted her passport to terminate arrival procedures for tourism, she did not have the appropriate diplomatic visa.
Passport authorities at the airport consulted with Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Musharaf before making the decision. Musharaf made the call to enforce the principle of reciprocity, denying entry to the Swedish envoy.
Since 2010, Egypt has enforced the principle of visa reciprocity. This means that envoys of nations that require Egyptian diplomats to obtain a visa prior to arrival are forced to do the same when traveling to Egypt.
After the decision was made, all travelers carrying a diplomatic passport or those on a special embassy mission are required to obtain an entry visa before entering the country, airport authorities explained.
The move aims to increase respect of the Egyptian passport internationally. According to the Egyptian Independent, the decision "has led several countries to agree with Egypt to exchange the principle of reciprocity and respect for Egyptian passports."
This isn't the first time the reciprocity principle has seen the diplomat of a foreign country denied entry.
Just last month, a U.S. diplomat was also denied entry at Cairo International Airport. In that case, the envoy was traveling from the United Arab Emirates and did not have the appropriate entry visa, Egypt Today reported.
In September of last year, the same thing happened to a German diplomat as well. Upon arrival at the Hurghada Airport via Jordan, Joseph Martin, undersecretary of the German Embassy in Israel, was denied entry into the country.
At the time, Musharaf ordered reciprocity to be enforced on the European diplomat and for him to be deported.