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Saturday 13 January 2024

Middle East travel warning issued

Thinking of a holiday in the Middle East? Maybe think again.

The UK Foreign Office has urged travellers to stay clear of most of the Middle East region and regions beyond, Travel Mole reports.

As the UK and US started bombing raids on Yemen, the FCO issued new travel advisories for 18 countries spanning from Syria to several East African countries including Somalia and Eritrea.

The countries are: Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

“Military activity is currently underway," the travel advisory said. "While the area of activity is limited, there is a possibility that travel advice for nearby countries could change at short notice.

“You should continue to monitor travel advice and follow any relevant instructions from local authorities.”

The government now considers the UK and British nationals abroad targets with a ‘high threat of terrorist attack.’

“You should remain vigilant at all times,” it said.

“The Royal Air Force has carried out targeted strikes against military facilities in Yemen.”

So travellers pay the price for the US and UK being unable to mind their own business and wanting to police the world.

Australia's current SmartTraveller advisory for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is stark and it advises against any travel to Lebanon or Yemen.

"We continue to advise reconsider your need to travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories overall due to the volatile security situation, including the threat of terrorism, armed conflict and civil unrest," it said.

"We continue to advise do not travel to Gaza, border areas with Gaza, border areas with Lebanon closed by Israeli authorities and the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), due to the volatile security situation."

The situation has also forced Silversea Cruises to end Silver Moon’s current Red Sea cruise itinerary in Jordan and cancel the next scheduled cruise.

It was scheduled to end in Muscat, Oman, but will now have additional port calls in Egypt before returning to Aqaba, Jordan, where it will end.

“In addition, due to circumstances beyond our control, we made the difficult decision to cancel the next voyage,” Silversea said.

Image: Sanaa, Yemen. UNESCO

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