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Serbs to be evacuated by aircrafts, ship

23. February 2011. | 06:41 20:25

Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug, Infobiro.tv

Around 550 Serbian nationals in Tripoli applied for evacuation and added that there are between 320 and 330 Serbian citizens in Ras Lanuf, while 60 nurses from Serbia are in Benghazi.Around ten Serbian citizens arrived in Belgrade on Wednesday from Rome, and several from Vienna, after they were evacuated from Libya by their employers, learned Tanjug's reporter at Nikola Tesla Airport.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mirko Stefanovic said yesterday that the evacuation of Serbian nationals from Libya will start early Wednesday morning as the Serbian government has obtained the license for three aircraft that will bring around 500 citizens of Serbia from Tripoli to Belgrade.

Stefanovic said at an extraordinary press conference that in line with suggestions of the Libyan authorities, the evacuation will start in the morning because of the curfew which will be in force during the night.

He specified that around 550 Serbian nationals in Tripoli applied for evacuation and added that there are between 320 and 330 Serbian citizens in Ras Lanuf, while 60 nurses from Serbia are in Benghazi.

Serbian nationals who are in Ras Lanuf and Benghazi will be transported by boats because the local airports are closed, Stefanovic noted.

Those who are in Benghazi will be evacuated with the help of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and those in Ras Lanuf with the assistance of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations.

Stefanovic said that the Serbian authorities and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in constant communication with the British, Austrian and Italian crisis teams in order to evacuate through them the few Serbian nationals who have been working in Libya for companies from these countries.

Two more ministry representatives will be sent to the Serbian embassy in Tripoli today to register Serbian nationals and secure a safe exit from Libya for them, he explained.

The situation in Libya is calmer today than during the previous several days and Serbian nationals in Libya are well and safe, Stefanovic concluded.

Serbia's planes land in Tripoli, waiting for boarding procedure

State Secretary at the Serbian Foreign Ministry Mirko Stefanovic stated Wednesday morning that two Serbian airplanes landed at the airport in Tripoli and that there are on the runway, waiting for the boarding procedure with the Libyan authorities to be completed.

Stefanovic expressed expectation that the planes will be one their way back soon, but could not precisely say when they will arrive, adding that this information will be announced on time.

"We are in contact with the pilots, the planes are on the runway, waiting for the boarding procedure with the Libyan authorities to be completed," Stefanovic told radio B92.

"All Embassy employees are at the airport and we would like to board women and children first, and then continue boarding other passengers for as long as it is necessary," Stefanovic added.

According to him, the third plane for Tripoli will leave Belgrade some time before 12 a.m., and if necessary, Serbia will keep sending planes for as long as there are Serbian citizens wanting to return from Libya.

He warned that the situation is different in Ras Lanuf, where there are over 300 Serbian citizens.

"For now there is no possibility for them to be tranferred to Tripoli, but we expect that the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations will send a ship which the Serbian citizens could board as well and thus be evacuated," Stefanovic pointed out.

In Benghazi, where the airport runway has been destroyed, there are about 60 nurses from Serbia and they should join the Turkish citizens to be evacuated from the country, he added.

Stefanovic stressed that some of the Serbian citizens have no passports on them, since their documents are currently in Tripoli and in possession of the Libyan authorities. Serbia will do its best to help them by providing photocopies of their passports, he added.

Serbs to be evacuated by aircrafts, ship
Around ten Serbian citizens arrived in Belgrade on Wednesday from Rome, and several from Vienna, after they were evacuated from Libya by their employers, learned Tanjug's reporter at Nikola Tesla Airport.

One of the passengers, Radovan Memorovic from Novi Sad, told reporters at the airport that the English company for which he has worked for four years, organized a flight from Libya to Malta, from where he was flown to Vienna, and then took a regular Jat flight to Belgrade.

Memorovic said that he saw the most Turkish planes ready for evacuation in Tripoli, and assessed nothing dramatic is happening in Libya.

He added that his daily commute took him 10 kilometers outside of Tripoli and that he saw people queuing for bread and gas, as well as burning automobile tyres and smoke.

Memorovic stressed that he did not see helicopters or heard gunshots, and that "the police is doing a very good job of securing everything."

The Serbian citizens working for a Russian railway company in Libya will be evacuated from Sirte and Ras Lanuf by a Russian ship scheduled to leave the Montenegrin port of Bar on Wednesday, the Russian authorities have announced.

The ship will transport the people to Istanbul, from where they will go to their home countries, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass. The exact number of Serbian citizens to be evacuated was not specified.

Serbia's deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said Wednesday the Russian authorities had assured him that over 200 Serbian citizens would be evacuated from Ras Lanuf. There are more than 300 Serbs there.

A group of Serbian citizens was already transported out of Libya earlier on Wednesday. They were evacuated from Tripoli by planes that took them to Sofia.

The planes flew a total of 200 people, who included citizens of Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, China, South Korea and Turkey.

Second plane from Tripoli lands at Belgrade Airport
Two planes carrying Serbian citizens from Tripoli landed at Belgrade airport Nikola Tesla Wednesday. Stefanovic: Between 300 and 500 Serbian citizens expected to return from Libya.

The first group to arrive home comprises mainly women and children.

The evacuation of Serbian citizens from Libya will continue Thursday, he said, expressing hope that all will return home safely.

Another group of Serbian citizens from Ras Lanuf will take a ferry which has left from Montenegrin port of Bar and is expected to reach Libya Thursday. The ferry will take them to Istanbul.

The ferry was provided in cooperation between the Serbian embassy in Moscow and Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, he said.

A third group of between 60 and 80 Serbian nurses working in Benghazi is to board a Turkish ship provided by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Endeavors for the evacuation of remaining small groups of Serbian citizens are being pursued, although they are much harder to evacuate, Stefanovic said.

Jat Airways secures all necessary permits for special flights out of Tripoli

Jat Airways director Sasa Vlaisavljevic said Wednesday the air traffic in Tripoli was going on without obstructions and that the company had secured all the necessary permits for special flights, so it could evacuate Serbian citizens.

"The two flights from Tripoli to Belgrade today were special," he noted, adding that Jat would request new permits if they were needed.

"The tomorrow's flight from Tripoli to Belgrade is a regular one and there is no reason why it should not happen," Vlaisavljevic told reporters at the Belgrade airport.


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