20% Indians out of Libya; evacuation time extended

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 19:56

New Delhi: Almost 20 per cent of an estimated
18,000 Indians in Libya have been evacuated even as the
government received landing clearance for 3 special flights
daily from India to Tripoli up to March 12, extending the
March 7 time period.

"Arrangements have since been finalized with Libya to
receive three special flights daily from India at Tripoli over
the next ten days. In addition, we are exploring possibilities
of establishing air bridges with Sirte and Sebha in Libya. This should appreciably speed up the process of evacuating our
nationals from Libya," the Ministry of External Affairs said
here on Tuesday.

It said the ship Scotia Prince, which had docked at
Benghazi yesterday, is setting sail for Alexandria, Egypt,
around noon (local time), with an estimated 1,188 Indian
nationals on board.

21 more Indian nationals crossed over to Salloum (Egypt)
yesterday by road and have been moved to Cairo and they will
leave for Mumbai by Gulf Air, along with 85 other Indian
nationals who had in the same way reached Cairo, it said.

"Almost twenty per cent of our 18,000 people have been
evacuated out of Libya," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao
tweeted.

"Have recd (received) clearance for 3 - three- of our
flights per day to Tripoli frm tomorrow till 12th March," she
said on Twitter yesterday.

Reacting to the criticism that India was not as swift as
China in evacuating its citizens, Rao said "we are not in
competition with China here. We`re focused on the task of
bringing back our people safe and sound. Pl (please) let`s not
devalue this."

She also said "we have evacuated over 3,000 out of
Libya by now. Some have returned home, others on their way."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 19:56

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