Evacuation of Indians from Libya going smooth: Krishna

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Tuesday said the vacuation of Indians from strife-torn Libya is going on smoothly, and added that over 3,500 people would have returned home by Wednesday.

“The evacuation of Indians who are wanting to come back is going smoothly. And so far by tomorrow, I think 3500 persons would have been evacuated from Tripoli,” Krishna told reporters outside Parliament.

Krishna said the government was using commercial flights, chartered flights and shipping lines to evacuate stranded Indians.

“And we hope that we should be able to pursue this evacuation,” he added.

When asked about the movement of people spreading to other countries, Krishna said India was ‘closely watching’ the developments in such nations and will respond ‘depending upon how the situation develops’.

“Well…we are not going to speculate as to how this revolution, resentment, revolt is going to impact other countries,” said Krishna.

“But the External Affairs Ministry through our missions…. we are closely watching the situation…monitoring the situation…and depending upon how the situation develops…we respond,” he added.

597 Indian nationals flew back home on two special Air India flights earlier this morning from Tripoli taking to 1,083 the total number of people evacuated so far by the four Air India special flights.

Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, who is also the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, was present at the airport to receive them.

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,” said a Ministry of External Affairs release.

“Scotia Prince docked at 1800 hrs (LT) at Benghazi (Libya) yesterday. Passengers have started boarding. The ship is setting sail for Alexandria around noon (local time), with an estimated 1,188 Indian nationals on board,” the release adds.

The Ministry of External Affairs further said: “An additional 21 of our nationals crossed over to Salloum (Egypt) yesterday by road and have been moved to Cairo. They will leave today for Mumbai by Gulf Air, along with 85 more Indian nationals who had similarly reached Cairo yesterday morning.” (ANI)

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