First Maltese vessel arrives in Libya to evacuate Chinese nationals

08:14, February 25, 2011      

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A Maltese vessel to evacuate Chinese nationals from Libya on Thursday arrived in the violence-wracked North African country, a Chinese official told Xinhua.

The ship, which is the first Maltese vessel chartered by the Chinese government with the capacity of carrying 2,175 people, arrived at the port of Benghazi in northern Libya on Thursday morning and will leave for Malta as soon as the embarkation finishes, said Zhang Keyuan, the Chinese ambassador to Malta.

The ship is expected to arrive at the Mediterranean island on Friday afternoon, according to Zhang.

Considering the exit and entry procedures, and the local accommodation capability, the evacuees will remain on the ship temporarily before boarding chartered flights back home in batches.

Zhang told Xinhua that the Chinese embassy in Malta is making strenuous efforts to ensure the follow-up evacuations.

Being short-staffed, the embassy has mobilized personnel from local Chinese cultural institutions and companies to facilitate the evacuees' early and safe return to China.

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