Egypt lawmakers decry bill 'selling' foreigners citizenship

July 16, 2018 - 9:58 am

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's parliament has backed a draft bill that grants foreigners citizenship if they deposit the sum of at least 7 million Egyptian pounds, or about $391,000, in a local bank, save it there for five years and reside in the country during that period.

The draft bill, passed on Sunday evening, still faces another parliament session and final approval by the president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, before it can become a law.

It has set off a storm of criticism by legislators.

Lawmaker Haitham el-Hariri accused the government of "selling Egyptian citizenship" when instead it should be "facilitating residency and visa procedures" for investors.

The official MENA news agency on Monday quoted Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal defending the bill and saying: "Why not grant them Egyptian citizenship?"

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